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Posts Tagged ‘lyte’

 

QA New Champ Select banner

[ Note ] You can find a preview of the new Champion Select on the PBE HERE.

 

 

Lyte Final PortraitHey all,

Lyte here. Last week we shared the new champ select for the first time. For the next couple of hours, the design team behind the feature will be here to answer all your champ select questions.

Here’s who’s hanging out with me:

Daniel “ryedan” Balmert, Kam “boourns” Fung, and Eric “Socrates” Kenna. Come ask us anything you want about the design, the visuals, or experience of the new champ select!

EDIT ::: Team’s going to grab some lunch! May drop by here and there to answer some remaining questions. Thanks for stopping by!

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Do you think the visual changes will distract from functionality testing

Lyte Final PortraitWe’re planning some deep dives and behind the scenes looks at the building of the new Champ Select, and our initial testing was actually with these ugly (sorry boourns!) prototypes that just had grey boxes and words. This is called UX lab testing in the games industry, and allows design teams to focus feedback and testing on the actual functional experience of the system and not be distracted by the polish of fancy visuals or animations. It’s only until pretty far in the project until you start adding in the stuff that makes the system look like magic.

The Champ Select quotes being played was actually a spontaneous idea by RiotBahamut. He was tinkering with the Champ Select and thought it would be cool, and the team instantly loved how it felt. We’re aware there could be some trolling or spammy experiences, but we think the overall value would be worthwhile. In fact, we’d love to add some more easter eggs to the system…

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Wont showing what Champ you want to play before bans encourage trolling

Ryedan Final PortraitBans are important. In the live version of Draft, the captain has the opportunity to use 3 bans to troll his teammates. Each ban used to “troll” allies means that some dangerous, high value champ is left on the table. The distribution of bans makes it so when you DO have someone trolling, their power is contained to a single ban.

Also, you don’t have to declare a champion intent if you don’t want. Something I pitched to Lyte was having the 6 roles (Tank, Mage, Assassin, Fighter, Support, Marksman) available in the champion grid as an option instead of declaring a specific champion, so you could be like “We have a Fiddlesticks jungle and we have a Leona bot, I think I should play a fighter top to round out the comp, but I’m not sure which one.”

What do you guys think?

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Follow Up Banner

Lyte Final PortraitActually, we saw something pretty weird in our playtests with Distributed Bans and Pick Intent. Because every single player now has a powerful “choice” in Champ Select (whether it’s a ban, or the top 2 picks), it actually reduced trolling of Pick Intent. So basically, players were far less likely to ban a Pick Intent (unless they thought it was a S-tier champion or something) because they knew that if they pissed off their teammates, their teammates could reverse-troll them with their powerful choice.

If you’re super worried about trolling in Pick Intent either way, you can always let the timer run out and not choose any champs at all and display a blank helmet icon.

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It seems the new Champ Select will make it easier to distribute team roles

Socrates New PortraitOne of our goals with the new champ select was to formalize a lot of communication to make it easier to get on the same page with your team quickly. Ultimately we believe this will let players focus on strategy instead of just trying to figure out positions.

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When will the new Champ Select go live in EUW

Lyte Final PortraitWe’d like to do some pre-season testing on NA and TR first, and if things are going well, we’ll rapidly roll it out globally.

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Why do you do all your testing on NA

Lyte Final PortraitWe see this question a lot, so going to jump in even though it’s late in the thread. When we choose to test new systems and features, it has everything to do with timezone. Although some teams work in multiple offices around the world, 100% of our team works in the LA office which means we prefer to choose a test server that has a timezone that does NOTcompletely wreck our sleep schedules.

You generally want to turn on a new feature or system during off-peak hours, say 6 AM, and then monitor it for about 24 hours at a time. By choosing NA, we can basically wake up and sleep at an OK time which is far less exhausting for the team.

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Could you do a breakdown of how long every step of Champ Select will take

Socrates New PortraitI felt the same way with the old experience, Drafting can feel like it takes a long time and we definitely didn’t want to make it take longer. In our testing so far we’ve seen champ selects move slightly faster. The biggest change that impacts this is requiring champion selections to be locked in instead of it being possible to idle on a champ selection and have it auto lock at the end.

This is what it looks like from old to new:

Old Champ Select:

  • Ban Phase: 60s per ban (360s total)
  • Pick Phase: 60s per pick (360s total) *Remember, 2 players pick at once sometimes
  • Resolution/Trades Phase: 60s
  • Total: 780s potential cap

New Champ Select:

  • Position Assignment: ~4s
  • Planning Phase: ~35s
  • Ban Phase: 40s per ban (240s total)
  • Pick Phase: 40s per pick (400s total)
  • Resolution/Trades Phase: 40s
  • Total: 720s potential cap

The above is subject to changes based on testing.

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Will a lobby vote to kick players from Champ Select ever be implemented

Boourns New PortraitWe expect that the new champion select experience will greatly reduce these kinds of situations. We’re going to look at our metrics after release and see if there’s value in attacking the problem more.

That said, we don’t think vote kick is a great way to solve the problem. If we do work around negative champion select behavior it will be more around reporting that behavior after you dodge. Vote kick just has too many negative side effects (it may actually increase bullying of off-meta champion picks for example).

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Will we have the option of creating a custom pool of Champions

Ryedan Final PortraitIt’s always a cost vs benefit issue, but we’re willing to look at the benefit. Something we’ve kicked around is having your top X (5?) played champions stickied to the top of the champion grid (for easy access). We want to use something smart that doesn’t require management, otherwise it’s unlikely to get adopted (and therefore deliver any value) to many players. Item sets are great for power users, but we didn’t see as much use as we thought. It’s great for those couple of people that really use it, but we could have brought something much more useful to more players.

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Will we be able to show what Champion we want to play only to teammates

Boourns New PortraitThis is something we’re looking at adding, although I don’t know if it will be in the initial release. Personally I’d love to be able to bring the champion grid back up during picks and bans so I can convey up-to-date information to my team.

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So is it impossible now to wait the timer out without banning a Champion

Lyte Final PortraitNo, we’ve intentionally removed the ability to let the timer run out to lock in a Pick, or skip a Ban. When you’re in a team with strangers, skipping a ban is a confusing and frustrating experience for the rest of the team (and they often misunderstand it as the Captain being AFK). If you really want the challenge of skipping bans, grab 4 friends and join Dynamic Queue as a Premade of 5 and ban random champions.

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When will the new Champion Select go live

Lyte Final PortraitTo be honest, we’re not sure when we’re going to go live yet. We have some polish we’d like to do, maybe a new feature or two, and have one nasty bug we need to fix before the Ranked 2016 Season. The team would love to do another PBE test, and potentially a roll out to NA and TR before the Ranked 2016 Season begins to iron out any further kinks, but we’re working around the clock right now and it’s hard to predict when each of these pieces will finish.

 

 

Will people be able to see the Masteries of teammates in Champion Select

Lyte Final PortraitRight now, there are no plans to allow everyone to see your Champion Mastery in Champ Select. We may re-visit this in the future though, and would just have to balance out the negative behaviors that were created. For example, in a distant future when we have more than 5 levels of Champion Mastery, maybe we only show Champion Mastery only when you are Level 10 or higher–this is a significant investment, and something “cool” to show you’re a master with a champion.

However, Level 10 might be a lofty, challenging goal. If we decided to show, say Level 2 Champ Mastery or higher, it would create an immediate perception that if you WEREN’T showing Champ Mastery with a champ, that you shouldn’t play Ranked at all. We’re aware some players would love this type of “gate” on who you can play in Ranked, but it’s not something we’re going to consider today because there are more important issues to improve in Ranked Mode.

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Will we be able to choose and buy champion ward skins in the new Champ Select

Lyte Final PortraitYes! This is a feature we’re still working on, but didn’t finish by the first PBE release.

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Why did you choose the last three people to ban instead of the first three

Lyte Final Portraitboourns remembers the crazy testing we had to do with Distributed Bans. At the beginning, we actually had Players 1, 2, 3, get the bans, then Players 4 and 5 get 1st and 2nd pick. However, this was super confusing to players in the testing because they already had yearsof prior experience of picks “starting” from the top of the team. So, we swapped it the current format where Players 3, 4, 5 get the bans, then we “reset” into Pick Phase and start from the top. This was much clearer for current players of the game, so we stuck with it.

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Did you consider adding Summoner Icon Select to the new Champ Select

Lyte Final PortraitThis is a tricky situation. Your summoner icon isn’t really shown in champ select (unless you count the load screen). Let’s be honest – as your ally, I care more about what you’re playing than what your icon is in champ select.

Now, being able to choose icons, ward skins, skins, chromas, finishers etc. all together AFTER I’ve selected my champion is a feature set we’re considering.

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Will the new Champ Select replace Team Builder or will it be a separate queue

Lyte Final PortraitWhen we started this project, we always felt like this was the “end-game” of Team Builder. We’re actually considering closing down the old Team Builder queue, and slowly replacing many of the queues with this new Champ Select experience. So, the Ranked 2016 Season will just have this new Champ Select experience as its queue, and in the future, Normal Draft will just be this new Champ Select experience.

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Follow Up Banner

Lyte Final PortraitAll the testing so far has suggested that the new Champ Select is the best possible League experience, so we’re considering sunsetting the old Team Builder.

We’d also like to replace some of the other queue experiences (like Normal Draft and Ranked) with this new Champ Select experience.

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What steps are being taken against pre game negativity

Boourns New PortraitThe design of the new champion select experience is specifically aimed at reducing conflict in champion select, we think that setting the right environment up for cooperation and communication is the best safeguard against toxic champion select behavior. Your specific example is incredibly rare, even right now, and if it’s a pattern of behavior that player will already be punished by existing systems.

That said we have some designs in our backlog for reporting pre-game toxicity. We’re going to see how negative behavior in champion select looks after release and decide if it’s valuable to do something like pre-game reports (we’re hoping there will be so little it won’t be necessary).

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Why not let 5 people pick 5 bans instead of only giving 3 bans to 3 players

Ryedan Final PortraitOne other reason is because it would make it harder for fresh level 30s to transition into ranked. You need to own 10 (# players in game) + 6 (# of bans) champions. Newer players would be forced to unlock 20 total champions (instead of 16), which might deter more people from trying it.

That’s in addition to the other diversity reasons.

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Isnt it a good thing to restrict Ranked to level 30players only

Ryedan Final PortraitThere’s no such thing as “not ready for ranked” as far as skill. The spectrum of Bronze to Challenger covers everyone. The reason we have the level 30 cap is to make sure you’re not playing against people who have access to raw stat advantages over you.

I don’t know what the plans are regarding increasing the ban count, but it’s a heavy issue. If you could ban 5 chess pieces, we’d have all pawns. On the flip side, zero bans means that the absolute best options will be picked 100% of the time, leading to stagnation in picks (first pick always gets queen).

You need to maintain a comfortable amount of bans that permits something powerful left on the board, while still allowing the player-base to deny commonly accepted “OP” picks. You need fewer bans than “must picks” in order for bans to mean anything, otherwise it’s just a false choice.

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So its possible that 5 strangers can be matched against 5 premades

Boourns New PortraitWe prioritize matching the same size groups against each other. It may happen that a premade 5 gets matched against solos, but it should be very rare based on our simulations using live data. We’ll know more when we look at real matches post release. If it’s happening too often we’ll take measures to make sure we’re getting fair matches.

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Is it possible to pass the ban to someone else or just skip a ban

Ryedan Final PortraitI like the idea in principal – both sides still get the same ban # and everyone is happy. However, I think this goes against one of our pillars when re-designing the champion select screen – Clarity on what’s happening now and who’s going next. If people can pass on bans, shuffle them down and move actions around, it gets hard for someone to understand what’s going on. For example, who gets your ban? how many seconds do you have to discard your ban? If a person thinks they aren’t banning then suddenly they are “granted” a ban, it might be weird.

If you don’t know who to ban or don’t care, ban Yorick. It will make Lyte mad because he likes to play him.

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Youre forcing one trick ponies in Ranked to climb using at least two roles

Lyte Final PortraitThis is a pretty common misunderstanding in Ranked play today. On average, players are only proficient at about 2.2 positions today. In fact, as you go higher in skill, you become more specialized in particular positions. However, we have some ideas to actually encourage players to master multiple positions beyond 2, and potentially reward players for truly being a master of all positions in League.

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How does the new system distribute players who picked the same roles

Boourns New PortraitIf you’re in a premade party the system prevents this. You must have party size + 1 unique positions selected. So if you’re duo you can’t go bot/supp, supp/bot. Instead you must have one more unique position.

If you’re soloing the system will prefer to give you your primary choice when possible.

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What if your pick order was based on the team role you picked

Boourns New PortraitWe wouldn’t do pick order based on your position because it would betray to the other team where each champion was going. This was something we looked at earlier, but didn’t do because part of the strategic fun of draft is being able to fake out the other team with a flex pick like lulu. By having assigned positions we already think it will be likely that you will get the champion you want even if you’re last pick. BTW last pick also has power because it allows you to counter-pick your lane matchup.

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Heres a suggestion can you let us communicate during Loading Screen

Boourns New PortraitRegarding loading screen chat: you’re not the only one who would love that feature! It’s difficult to do because, frankly, there’s not a lot loaded in the loading screen (including chat)! 😀 There are no shortage of people here who would love to see it happen, it just hasn’t so far.

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

 

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Will skins in the future be delayed past their relevant event

KateyKhaos Final PortraitWe’ve stated that we’ve got some stuff planned for Snowdown. In a case like that, yes, skins would be held for that event. There will still be instances where you won’t see a champion skin for a bit due to them being a part of an event/group of skins that will be released.

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What’s the status of Shens rework

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Meddler Final PortraitIt’s high ish on our list of smaller reworks (smaller as in some gameplay changes, with visual/audio changes as needed to support those, rather than a full relaunch). Marksmen polish, bug fixing and followup, plus Poppy, are the champion update team’s big priorities at the moment though. Shen’s rework definitely won’t be this year, early next year’s looking like it could be feasible though.

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Do youve an ETA for when Akalis rework will be released

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Meddler Final PortraitWe don’t have a timeline for Akali at present. Could be a moderate time after Shen, could be a long time after.

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Why not tackle assassins after your Juggernaut Marksman updates

Meddler Final PortraitWe haven’t decided which class to tackle after marksmen. Assassins are definitely a possibility, but still just one of several options we’re talking about. If doing assassins we’d definitely want to sync an Akali rework with that of course.

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Do youve any plans for Talon

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Meddler Final PortraitIt’d be good to do some work on him someday, give him some more distinction from standard assassin tools, a more meaningful passive and better counterplay. No current plans for that though, that’ll likely wait until we tackle assassins at a group whenever that is.

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Whats happening with the Taric rework

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Meddler Final PortraitFor quite a long time we were blocked from working on Taric because we hadn’t found what we felt was the right way to update him without losing core parts of his character. A little while back we found a direction that we’re really happy with, so we’re now in a position where we can look at putting him into the pipeline.

Progress in terms of direction and goals basically, rather than progress in terms of producing the actual character for the game.

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Will the new Champion Select roll out to ARAM 3v3 and Dominion

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[ Note ] You can find an in-game preview of the new Champion Select HERE.

Lyte Final PortraitWe have to first finish the “Blind Pick” version of this experience, then we’ll figure out how we want to tackle unique maps.

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Four premades in SoloQ will have full control over the surrender vote

Lyte Final PortraitIt’s pretty easy to detect if 4:1 premades are surrendering too early, holding the 5th player hostage, so on and so forth. It’s also super easy to resolve, including things like forcing 4:1 premades to have unanimous votes to trigger a Surrender. At the end of the day, there’s way less toxicity to 4:1 situations than players are portraying right now.

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Will we ever get the chance to kick a player from Champion Select

Lyte Final PortraitThe new Champ Select should solve a lot of conflicts because of the system design and things like Pick Intent, Pick 2 Positions, and Distributed Bans. However, if there are still meaningful negative experiences in Champ Select, we’ve considered allowing players to queue dodge and “report” a player and supply a reason. If the reported player was being toxic, we could make sure there’s no queue dodge penalties. But, for us to do this feature there would need to be meaningful Champ Select toxicity, say greater than 5% of lobbies.

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Will you solve the issue of players trollbanning other peoples pick intents

Lyte Final PortraitIf a player wants to troll, they are going to find a way to do it whether Pick Intent exists or not.

We believe Pick Intent is still a net-positive feature, and provides more value than damage. What we did notice was that by introducing Distributed Bans, far less players trolled Pick Intent. Because nearly every player has a “powerful” choice in Champ Select (whether it’s a ban, or 1st/2nd pick), players are less likely to troll one another in the drafting process because that other player could counter you with something equally damaging.

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How do you plan to balance premade groups playing in high ELO queues

Lyte Final PortraitThere’s a weird misconception around high MMR queues.

We can’t predict exactly what will happen, but here’s a few scenarios:

1) High MMR players will group together with their high MMR friends, and we’ll get to watch some pretty crazy matches between players from different pro teams queuing together. This will be highly competitive and entertaining.

2) High MMR players will decide to all go solo, so it’ll be just like Solo/Duo Queue today except sometimes they’ll face off against premade teams from a lower skill tier.

High MMR players are already waiting in queues and being repeatedly matched with lower tier players, or placed with teams that have Duo Queues of lower skill. This already happens, and won’t be fixed with Dynamic Queues. It’s not really easy to fix the problem of “not enough high tier players” in a queue 😛

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Why do the last three players in the new Champ Select get to ban

Lyte Final PortraitPlayer 1 and 2 get first and second pick, which we’ve seen are also “valuable” choices in Champ Select.

Whether we add more bans or not is a super complex topic that Ghostcrawler or Meddler have talked about before, so I don’t want to dig into it here again.

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What if a team with one Bronze Silver Gold Plat Diamond player queues

Lyte Final PortraitYou can’t even create that team because Tier Restrictions still exist in Dynamic Queues. Your team has to be within 2 tiers of each other.

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Will we be able to trade picks in the new Champ Select

Lyte Final PortraitYes, there’s still a Trade Phase in the new Champ Select.

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Can we just fill any team role

Lyte Final PortraitYou can do this! Just select “Fill” as your Primary position and queue up.

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What if I get countered or the Champions for the role I picked are banned

Lyte Final PortraitActually, just like in today’s Champ Select, if you really have to you can negotiate with your team to swap positions. Just like today, you could go, “Hey guys, I really can’t do well versus a Darius Top, anyone mind swapping positions with me?”

We’re not removing any functionality, you can still do this stuff today.

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Premade groups will ruin Solo Queue in Master Challenger ELOs

Lyte Final PortraitI’ll be honest, anyone that says they can predict how Dynamic Queues will shake out for high MMR players is just making a wild assumption at this time.

Even we can’t make a prediction about what will happen, but we can map out the scenarios. IF Dynamic Queues are dramatically destroying the experience for many players, we’ll know and we’ll figure out how to solve it. To say we should never try something because of a hypothetical scenario is being risk-averse. We have to be OK taking risks once in awhile if we want to keep pushing League’s potential.

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Will we be able to lock Champions to prevent them from being banned

Lyte Final PortraitWhen we introduced Pick Intent, it was critical that we also introduce Distributed Bans. Because every player has a “powerful” choice in Champ Select (either 1st/2nd pick, or a ban) we saw less trolling of Pick Intent because every player had some leverage over the other players. It’s a weird dynamic, but Distributed Bans were effective in reducing trolling. We do not intend on allowing players to “lock” something from being banned during Pick Intent because that could introduce far more damage than positive in the long run–imagine preventing a ban of an S-Tier champion that gets first picked by the opposing team. Chaos would ensue.

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Can we be allowed to report players during Champion Select

Lyte Final PortraitNot at this time. If there are still significant toxicity issues in Champ Select, we may introduce a feature to allow a player to dodge, and report a player and supply a reason for their dodge. With some machine learning magic, we could assess this report in real-time and remove any potential queue dodge penalties as well. But, this feature is pretty costly, so it’d have to be worth doing.

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Have you considered allowing players to queue for one role only

Lyte Final PortraitOne of the big criticisms of Team Builder Classic was queue times, so forcing everyone to choose at least 2 positions really, really improves queue times and ensures queue health. By allowing players to only select 1 position (even if they understand they are waiting longer to play that 1 position), it significantly influences the entire matchmaking ecosystem if only 20% of players choose 1 position only. To us, it’s not worth damaging the entire health of the queue to give players this amount of control.

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Why not group premades with premades rather than with solo players

Lyte Final PortraitThis pretty much already happens. We’ve made a few changes to the matchmaker so similar group comps are paired against each other. Premade 5s pair more with Premade 5s, before being paired with 4:1 or 3:2 for example. I’ll also note that really, the vast majority of players wanted Dynamic Queues, but of course Reddit is a pretty hardcore demographic and once a thread swings one direction, generally the opposition are not going to jump in to voice an opinion. Most players also don’t realize when they are in games with premades. Nearly 100% of Ranked Games has a Duo Queue today, but players only remember the games when Duo Queues were negative.

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Wont queues be just as long as with Team Builder if no one picks Support

Lyte Final PortraitActually, with the “Fill” position, we’re in a pretty good spot for position distributions. We’re also willing to incentivize the in-demand positions with some small bonuses from the future crafting system.

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Heroes of the Storm had groups in Solo Queue and the feature was removed

Lyte Final PortraitTo be clear, Blizzard’s reasons had to do with skill disparity and variance on teams.

We’ve added multiple matchmaking features that solve this problem including Tier Restrictions (you can’t queue with friends beyond a certain tier in skill). Also, CS:GO has a Dynamic Queue system that works pretty well, so you can’t just point to 1 game and say “it’s a bad idea because that game moved away from it.”

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Lyte Final PortraitWe’re also doing a lot of features like Clubs to help players find more friends to play with, and make more friends. We don’t have to do one or the other, we have to try many things!

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Why not split your feature into a Solo Queue and Small Group Queue

Lyte Final PortraitSplitting the queues into a Pure Solo and Group Queue would have all the queue health problems that we (and other studios) have faced before. When you have a smaller playerbase on a server like Turkey, both queues would be negative experiences. The more you segregate your playerbase, the worse the experience in each island.

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Why not add voice chat if youre trying to make League more teamoriented

Lyte Final PortraitWe’ve been doing a lot of research on voice chat and the impact it has on the game experience. We have some ideas for how we’d like to solve the negatives that voice chat has, but no teams are actively working on integrated voice chat for League. As you can tell with the 2016 Ranked changes, we are trying to make League more of a team sport, which does make voice comms more valuable.

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Skill ranking is irrelevant to how effective group matchmaking is

Lyte Final PortraitWhen players make statements like “Skill Ranking” means nothing, it might not actually reflect reality.

What does it mean for “Skill Ranking” to mean something? Technically, it means things like if I have Player A (1200 MMR) against Player B (1200 MMR) they will reliably win 50% of their matches against each other over 100s of games. It means things like if I have Player A (1240 MMR) against Player B (1200 MMR), Player A will win their matches 54% of the time if you’re using the basic Elo equation from Chess. Of course, this is a simplified model because most PvP games are team-based so there’s additional variables… but you get the point.

I don’t think players can concretely say that in CS:GO, the Dynamic Queue system is so bad that a significant number of matchups are erroneous and therefore Skill Rating means nothing. On average, a higher skill player will still beat a lower skill player. The question is, how consistently does this happen? If a higher skill player beats a lower skill player at a predictable % of the time, I think the system is working effectively. If a higher skill player should beat a lower skill player 60% of the time, but only beats them 40% of the time on average, something is broken.

I may have gotten a bit too into the math weeds here, but unless you can see the data like Valve (or like us), you can’t simply conclude that Skill Ratings mean nothing in Dynamic Queues. Could it become less accurate than before? Yes. However, if 30% more players enjoy Ranked, and Skill Rating means 2% less… is that a valuable tradeoff? Maybe. Until we try this out for a bit, we don’t know what those numbers will be and what the tradeoffs are, so it’s too early to make wild assumptions.

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Why do you think 41 queues will level out at 50 winrate for the solo player

Lyte Final PortraitWe’ve dug into examples like this many times before, and it’s generally because the Normal MMRs of the players don’t reflect their Ranked MMRs. This is a known problem that we have some fixes for called “Splashing.” Basically, as your Ranked MMR increases, we “splash” some points into the other queue MMRs to make sure they are all tied a bit closer. But, in practice this didn’t work too well because a lot of higher tier players mess around in Normals or only want to play casual in Normals with friends, so they DIDN’T want their Ranked MMR to affect other queues.

Long story short, it does look bad, but actually if you look at the matches holistically, you still have very close to a 50% win rate in those matches.

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Why not learn from Normal games how premade behavior affects queues

Lyte Final PortraitThis is exactly why we’d like to work in Normal Draft Queues first, because they are a close model of how a Dynamic Queue might work. We’re also testing “Ranked Queues” in NA and TR, to get an even closer model of how things might shake out.

We’ll know more soon, we just need players to give us a chance to try things before jumping up in arms and condemning it. We aren’t crazy, and we know this is risky–but, we want to try.

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How did you gather data that suggests most players want Dynamic Ranked

Lyte Final PortraitWe run random sample surveys across the entire global playerbase regularly, so we tend to get a nice representative response from all demographics–the hardcore, the average, the player that never visits forums, the player that visits Reddit 8x a day, etc.

 

The truth is, in every survey we’ve done, the majority of players were interested in Dynamic Queue. That doesn’t mean we just use that data point and force Dynamic Queue on everyone because we also saw that a non-trivial number of players were solo purists, and loved the idea of “true” Solo Queue and their experiences may get slightly worse because of Dynamic Queue. So, we assessed all the potential negatives that Dynamic Queue had, and implemented upgrades or new features that tried to address them. Did we succeed in making it overall a great experience for the vast majority of players? We don’t know yet. We need to try, collect data, learn, and iterate.

That’s how design is.

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I think the queue change will contribute to the communitys declining skill level

Lyte Final PortraitI don’t believe skill level required to be a top tier player has diminished over time. In fact, it’s increased over time.

1) When you look at Ranked data, most players are only proficient at 2 positions. 2.2, to be specific. There wasn’t really a time period in League history where players were proficient at all 5 positions. In the new Champ Select, you still have to master at least 2 positions to rank up effectively.

2) As the game has matured, the skill level required to compete has only steadily increased. There are more websites, guides, blogs, deep analysis on game mechanics than ever before which is improving education of players on game mastery. There is more infrastructure in eSports (for highschool, colleges, and pro) than ever before, and it’s greatly improving the ‘average’ skill level of top players. 4-5 years ago, there was no true understanding of ‘optimal’ ways to play the game, and you didn’t have to understand little nuances to be in the Top 500 players in the world. Today, by about Level 15, players already are beginning to get a feel for the meta, what champions are effective at what positions, etc. A top player today would absolutely crush a top player from a few years ago.

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What the majority of players want may not be whats good for the community

Lyte Final PortraitIt’s getting late–I need to get some rest so will skip some of your bigger discussions for now. At the risk of sounding offensive (which is NOT my intention with this reply), couldn’t we use the same arguments against solo purists? What if Dynamic Queue is something solo purists say they don’t want, but actually is better for them in the long run too?

 

My point is, I agree that players sometimes say one thing, but mean another. Or, sometimes players really don’t know what they actually want. But, I’d be wary assuming “the other population” is the one that doesn’t know what they want, and your population knows exactly what you want and that you must be right. It’s a game designer’s job to try to figure out the reality behind the fog, and try to understand what is actually the best experience–but I’ll be the first to say that it’s hard, and sometimes we’ll get it wrong. This might be one of those times, it might not be. But, we’re willing to give it a go and pivot as necessary–even if it’s mid-season.

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Marksman Update in the 2016 Season

Graves Single Banner

Ezreal Final PortraitChampion Update team here! While you’ve probably already seen the big changes due for marksmen (if you haven’t, check it all out here http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/site/2016-season-update/preseason.html ), we wanted to set aside a moment for a deeper dive. The new marksmen update comes hot on the heels of the juggernauts update (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/page/gameplay-update-juggernauts ) and, with so much changing so fast, we think it’s a good idea to pause for a more philosophical reflection.

But first, a quick look back.

When we set out to tackle the juggernauts, we were working with a whole lot of unknowns. This was a set of champions that didn’t have much in the way of strategic identity. By really highlighting their strengths, we gave them clear ways to succeed (and fail) in an unfamiliar environment. Making something from nothing is a really interesting space to work in and we think we’ve achieved our philosophical goal with many of them. The tricky bit, however, was calibrating the juggernaut’s appropriate weaknesses against their raw power.

With marksmen, we have a few advantages. First, because the class as a whole already has a clear function and they’re played in pretty much every game of League, we have a much stronger understanding of their capabilities and expectations. Additionally, because the core weakness of every marksman is “blow ‘em up,” they have some pretty clear checks in place when it comes to solo-carrying games.

Looking forward, our vision remains consistent: We want to give each updated champion a unique reason to be brought to a game, and we want each champion to feel different whether playing against, as, or with. For some, this means sharpening what they already do well, or should do well. For others, it means finding new elements that make them feel special. We want you to have a reason to pick Graves over Lucian, and vice-versa, outside of just dealing more damage.

Our additional goal is to ensure basic attacks between marksmen are as differentiated as possible. This is a new goal that’s very important for this group in particular, given how reliant they are on basic attacks.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the changes. We’ll be throwing out a high-level overview of the updates before we go a little deeper on the philosophy behind them, in case you haven’t checked out the site.

 

Graves Final Portrait

“This calls for the ol’ double-barreled ‘Hello.’”

Graves’ double-barreled shotgun is one of the most distinctive weapons in the marksman arsenal. However, this weapon was underutilized as a kind of mid-range, burst, poke, cone spell. So we doubled-down on the classic shotgun fantasy. Now Graves’ basic attacks fire four rounds (eight on a crit!) in a cone in front of him, dealing damage and knocking back minions. Graves has tradeoffs for this unique mechanic, as he has to reload after firing two rounds (but can quickly reload via Quickdraw), and his basic attacks can be body-blocked.

Because we basically pushed Graves’ Q onto his basic attack, we decided to give him a new Q in the form of End of the Line, where he fires out an explosive canister, leaving behind a trail of gunpowder. That canister then explodes after a few seconds (or immediately on colliding with a wall) and detonates the gunpowder for additional damage.

With the defensive buff from Quickdraw and his incredibly high threat on close-range targets, Graves is the kind of marksman you want to bring when enemies have a lot of backline access (see: diving assassins). The tradeoff here is that Graves loses out on a lot of long-range target selection that other marksmen have, since his basic attacks can’t go over enemies.

The changes focuses on pushing Graves’ identity as a close-range, brawling marksman, and we’re excited to see how he does once he gets into the fight.

 

Quinn Final Portrait

“Justice takes wing.”

Despite its innate coolness factor, Quinn’s old ultimate still had problems. It forced her into overwhelming danger, often leading to trades at the cost of her life (not a great deal!). We are re-imagining her ultimate to play up its tag-team, high-speed nature: Valor now swoops down to carry Quinn, giving her massive out-of-combat mobility. This sharpens Quinn’s identity as a rapid-response marksman. Quinn can aid skirmishes in the jungle, swap lanes to help ganks, respond to split-pushes (or split-push herself), and make it back in time to help with a team fight. Need eyes on Baron? Send Quinn to scout it out!

 

Corki Final Portrait

“Bombs away!”

Corki, the Daring Bombardier, hasn’t been very true to his title. Optimal play for Corki was to play it safe and poke from a distance; he lacked the tools to make big plays. We decided to fix this in an… explosive way. With the addition of Special Delivery – a single-time upgrade to Valkyrie that amps up the damage, range, and disruption of the ability – Corki needs to focus on what sort of decisive action he’ll take to capitalize on the skill. It won’t be easy, but the reward is huge.

Finally, to further push Corki’s identity as the magic damage marksman, his auto-attacks now deal split magic/physical damage and his gatling gun shreds both resists. This allows teams to build around Corki being the primary magic damage dealer, something rather unique in the strategic space of marksmen.

 

Miss Fortune Final Portrait

“Fortune doesn’t favor fools.”

Miss Fortune has been synonymous with the famed WOMBO COMBO since she first strutted onto the Rift, though much less so after frequent nerfs to Bullet Time. We wanted the WOMBO back, so we increased her ult’s duration by 50% and increased the number of bullet waves as the game progresses by… a lot.

As for her new passive, we drew a lot of inspiration from Double Up. In lane, Miss Fortune draws tons of strength from her Q, especially in a 2v2 scenario where she can put a lot of pressure on both targets if they don’t position properly. These changes are our way of doubling… down on that thematic, with more rewards for precise target juggling and positioning (the precision is important as well, as there are champions like Varus or Twitch who excel at dumping out a lot of group AoE damage).

 

Caitlyn Final Portrait

“Meet the long gun of the law.”

For Caitlyn, we had to ask ourselves, “How much further can we push the sharpshooter fantasy?” The answer: Like, a lot further. By giving Caitlyn massive range on any enemy she can net or trap, we’re emphasizing her sharpshooting strengths. Giving Yordle Snap Trap an ammo system amplifies Cait’s natural ability to create choke points, while also improving her ability to dominate territory around objectives. The choice between spreading traps for surprise ambushes and setting up lines of defense gives you different ways to capitalize on Cait’s role as League’s #1 sniper elite.

 

Kogmaw Final Portrait

“Feeding time!”

Everyone’s favorite Void puppy just got even more adorabler. Kog’Maw already has a familiar identity in his “Protect the Kog” team comp, but we felt we could amplify it while also separating him from other tank busters. Now, Kog’s Bio-Arcane Barrage doubles his attack speed and attack speed cap, up to five attacks per second (!!!). This makes him the quintessential attack speed “proc” champion, a low-mobility machine-gun of death. It does wonders for creating a unique itemization path and, of course, it makes him look way cooler.

As a quick note for Living Artillery: Changing the damage from raw poke to execution allows Kog to differentiate himself from other long-range pokers. Kog by himself might not make for the perfect poke composition, but if you combine him with enough additional pressure, he can pick off fleeing enemies while also becoming a central damage turret for his team.


So those are our rough thoughts on the update. We’d love to hear yours as you test the changes in action (soon), but these, in tandem with the marksmen itemization update, should bring some interesting changes to the class as a whole.

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Whyd you gut Miss Fortunes dueling potential in her Preseason rework

Miss Fortune Single Banner

Ezreal Final PortraitI can understand that feeling, whenever we refocus a champion’s design we will have to take power away from one area in order to place it into another. In MF’s case, we certainly took down her dueling potential a notch. Though in doing so, we’ve given her a much more solidified role in the aoe carry. She has even more incentives to pass damage around to multiple targets.

Ps. You are a badass for running jungle MF, how the heck did you do it?

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Is her new Love Taps passive a gimmicky bonus or a necessity on her kit

Ezreal Final PortraitOne of the problems with ADCs was that they all had the exact same play pattern. Part of our update is focusing on changing it up a bit. For example, Graves reallllly wants to get in close, Kog’Maw needs to plan ahead of time for his damage window, etc. For MF, she can still certainly get off a ton of damage on a single target, it just isn’t as free as before. Her bonus attack speed is actually far larger than before, just for a far shorter window of time. So now she chooses between short duels and long form target swapping.

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Whyd you make the more minor ADC changes for example to Ashes Q

Ezreal Final PortraitUnsure as to which Q change you are talking about, though I’ll chat about the main two. We made it only castable at 5 stacks since the ability was didn’t propose a good choice. Either you cast it well at 5 stacks and got a fantastic benefit, or you cast it below 5 and went home sad. For the cooldown removal, we really wanted to let players push the limits of the spell. If they were able to keep it up all the time, then they deserved to be rewarded!

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Are there any plans to update Ezreals W

Ezreal Final PortraitThere are no current plans to update Ezreal’s W. I do have to admit, I would love to see us update that ability with something far more interesting, but that is a change for the future.

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DEV BLOG Vision in the 2016 Season

Vision Changes Single Banner

Pwyff Final Portrait Posting for Xypherous!

We’ve generally been happy with some of the new vision mechanics in the game with the advent of Season 5. However, as the vision system has grown organically over time, the map has become increasingly brighter and brighter since Season 4.

Additionally, the amount of unused trinkets and profusion of various vision types made it hard to consider expansions onto an already bloated system so this Season will mostly focus around concentrating the vision game to fewer discrete points.

Sight_Ward

First off, we’ve removed Green Wards. This is a pretty big sledgehammer to vision overall and the map is significantly darker because of it. We heard a lot of feedback on this and I wanted to give more context:

When vision is in a “consumable” state, it does a few things to the game that we want to change. First, because map knowledge is so powerful, the ideal state of vision for two teams is basically “as much as you can.” That means that teams will be perpetually funneling their excess gold (or in the case of supports and some junglers, their core gold income) into as much vision upkeep as possible. The compelling decision of when to ward and where to ward gets flattened.

For supports, engaging so heavily with the vision system means they’ll often need to give up late-game purchases and slot efficiency to ensure the map is well lit. For others, it becomes a gold dump to push an advantage. By taking all ‘safe’ vision (invisible wards) out of the gold stream and placing them on meaningfully gated cooldowns, teams will have to think a lot more about where they want to set up on the map, rather than it being a given luxury for who can do it.

In addition to the removal of Green Wards, we’re also doing the following changes:

vision ward

Pink Wards will still remain buyable and represent an investment into permanent vision control over an area. They’re also slightly cheaper and fall into Sight Ward’s original cost range.

  • Trinkets

The Trinket System has been streamlined down to 2 basic options, plus 2 “alterations” that become available at Level 9. Trinkets also now continuously improve with level rather than at discrete levels in the game.

Warding_Totem_item

Warding Totem will now behave like the upgraded Warding Totem on live which slowly charges up to store additional wards. The duration and charges have been tweaked to increase continuously with character level.

We like the flexibility and general gameplay of the upgraded trinket as it allows you to maintain vision over a small area for a long time or tactically cover a wide area by yourself if you’ve built up charges over time – giving it a much wider range of potential uses.

Sweeping_Lens_item

Sweeping Lens has taken a hit in power now that there aren’t potentially green wards everywhere.

To compensate, red gains the ability to warn against things that you can’t see in the area letting you know the shape or silhouette of things in fog of war without revealing them directly. This includes things like jungler monsters (check if that camp is up!) and Pink Wards, in addition to providing the silhouette of stealthed threats like champions in brush, fog of war or stealth.

Sweeping Lens’ core functionality becomes alerting you as to whether or not anything in the swept area can detect you and allowing you to disable them.

  • “Alterations”

Instead of upgrades, which are strictly better than the original trinket that you have, we’ve instead chosen to move in the direction of side-grading and altering existing functionality of trinkets.

These swap the functionality of your existing trinket by improving the power of some aspects and decreasing the power in other aspects.

Farsight_Orb_item

Yellow Trinket’s alteration – the Farsight Totem is unlocked at level 9 and functions similarly to the Farsight Orb on live with some improvements. You gain vastly increased range and a shorter cooldown… at the expense of having visible wards and losing the ability to build charges.

In a departure from live, these “blue” wards now last forever and don’t count towards your ward count. Since these wards are easily destructible by opponents, we don’t foresee this as contributing significantly to the overall vision of the map unless a team decides to use multiple blue trinkets in parallel to light up disparate regions of the map over time.

So you can light up the map as long as you do it as part of an ongoing campaign to hold territory for extended periods of time.

Oracle's_Lens_item

The Sweeping Lens’ alteration – the Oracle Lens (also unlocked at 9) – is more tame in comparison and very similar to the Oracle upgrade on live. In lieu of gaining true sight, the red trinket simply has a much wider sweep range and follows you around for 10 seconds.

However, combined with the fact that red trinket can warn you against enemy units that you can’t see – this means it will also provide a proximity check so you don’t walk headlong into an enemy ward or brush.

  • Closing

Vision remains an important key strategic strength in League of Legends. The current vision system has a ton of small moving parts, as well as a few mechanics that just make the system kind of obtuse to interact with.

We want to streamline the existing vision items to a smaller core set of vision items while also allowing that core to branch out in interesting directions and overlapping functions. Overall, the power in vision should be more condensed in the options that remain.

We’re taking advantage of the overall reduction in small vision buys to offer more interesting total item build options in the form of the Sightstone upgrades or the Jungle enchantments. Our goal was not to make the overall vision experience more complicated, but allow vision options to form the basis for more interesting total builds. From the support who forgoes his actives in favor of a powerful AP build, to the support who doubles down on active items, to the Jungler who forgoes combat in favor of map wide vision and utility.

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Isnt the removal of Oracles Lens another indirect buff to stealth champions

Xypherous Final PortraitKind of? Other systematic changes such as Marksmen getting better kite / soak options / the removal of Brutalizer / the removal of Trailblazer and the like would probably be indirect nerfs to those characters.

The only stealth champions that haven’t been indirect nerf/buffed in a lot of ways is Akali / Evelyn / Twitch at this point. Eve has never been affected by the true sight from Oracles as her stealth shuts itself off and Akali’s stealth is rather situational.

Twitch, I agree might be a problem – but I’m not sure he was ever at a range to be detected by Oracles when he was murdering you in Stealth. Still – he’s probably the biggest beneficiary of the changes.

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Vaynes impossible to fight without an Oracles Lens

Xypherous Final PortraitTrue – but so much of her itemization has changed that it’s hard to tell whether she’s better or worse from a total power perspective.

BoRK is noticeably worse early now, for example – so her assassination playstyle kind of takes a hit.

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What about Shaco Rengar KhaZix and Vayne

Xypherous Final PortraitLoss of an early brutalizer and trailblazer hurts Rengar and Kha’zix pretty substantially I find. Similarly, Vayne and BoRK is no longer as powerful as an early power spike.

Shaco, on the other hand, builds whatever he wants – but Shaco is also likely affected by the loss of the early Brut as well.

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Do the Trinket changes mean people dont have to be reminded to upgrade them

Xypherous Final PortraitIt scales on a per level basis – so not for most roles. The goal is that people should only feel compelled to exchange their trinket when they want fundamentally different functionality – rather than just a more powerful version of their existing one.

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If upgrades are supposed to be sidegrades why are they still levelgated

Xypherous Final PortraitExcellent question. They’re level-gated because they’re meant to serve mid-game or late-game vision functions that would be overpowered in early game.

Because players don’t move around a lot in lane – things that can affect others at a long range or a wider area are significantly more powerful – hence the level-gate.

If you want to be really specific – the best trigger would probably be something like ‘Buyable after laning phase’ – unfortunately, there’s no real way to tell when it ends that organically in an understandable way – hence the level restriction.

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Why cant we have some way of recharging Sightstone outside the base

Xypherous Final PortraitThere’s are a couple of reasons why you want players returning to base on a regular cadence – doubly so for a class that doesn’t have much other reason to return as their item upgrades are relatively less important.

More practically, this favors the team that is pushed in rather than the team that is pushing in most respects – as the winning team is the one best suited to ‘waiting out in the field.’ We’d never really be able to put a recharge timer on it that seemed useful without causing some really weird side effects in this case.

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Why was ward duration decreased from 180 seconds to 150

Xypherous Final PortraitThe goal was to make the map overall darker and chip as much unnecessary vision power away as possible – hence the reduction. It also helps separate the two use cases out for vision a bit better – shorter term stealth vision vs. longer term control over an area.

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So Sightstone was nerfed even further and isnt worth a supports item slot

Xypherous Final PortraitThat’d be a perfectly reasonable response if the item isn’t worth the slot. If that was the right call to make, I’d expect most of our players to do the same and then we’d simply adjust.

Not entirely convinced the item is weaker given that it’s one of the few sources of invisible wards – so the relative strength should be incredibly high – but if that’s actually the case – yeah, you’d be wise to avoid buying the item entirely.

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There needs to be a Sightstoneesque item that works like a Sweeper trinket

Xypherous Final PortraitI could see that – but the conflicting data point for me here is that the reason why Sweeper’s have such a high hit rate on live is that there’s always wards up due to the prevalence of buyable green wards – at least at higher level play.

I’m uncertain as to how much value is lost as we’re moving from a mostly-lit world in which Sweeper has a fairly high hit rate – to a somewhat-dark world where the hit rate will be much lower.

Vision removal in the item system should be somewhat better covered by cheaper pink wards as well. It may still very well be the case that red trinket has no comparable option and thus Sightstones need to exist so that you can have a red trinket in your inventory – but I’m not inclined to say that this is actually a bad state.

Basically, what I’ve found is that more choices in how you spend gold in vision has mostly led to either negative or kind of poor game-play in general. Complex gold decisions around vision hasn’t yielded good returns in either skillful play (as you should sink as much as you can) or have been particularly satisfying without being brutally overpowered.

The approach we’re trying this season focuses more around complex choices in how youuse vision – rather than how you acquire it – by both severe rate limitations – as well as allowing some more complex functionality to exist without a gold investment.

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Vision is integral to winning Why are so many players not warding

Xypherous Final PortraitIt’s likely that warding just isn’t viewed as an activity that makes a ton of sense from an abstract perspective. Put down sticks that grant vision? What?

Eventually, we’ll want to revisit the concept of static wards to begin with and see if there’s a better analogy that still plays a part in the vision game. This is super speculative – but imagine if, instead of a pink ward – you placed a tiny speed shrine that also provided vision.

I suspect that eventually, we’ll have to shift the analogy to like ‘mini-buildings’ or ‘mini-structures’ rather than ‘sticks that see’ in the long long run.

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Why not have tutorials that teach players the importance of vision

Xypherous Final PortraitTutorials and teaching players are definitely worth pursuing – However, with warding and such, it feels very much like a state of like ‘Well, we could teach them how to do Assembly… but.. maybe we should look at what we want them to do and confirm that’s actually a deep and engaging activity first.’

The other portion of this is that I believe Tutorials that teach you how to ward are going to have a major gap in that you cannot learn from your current enemy if the enemy has found some new clever way to use them. Hence – any tutorials are going to have a continual lag time – so whatever you’re teaching should also have some kind of learnable component from observing your enemy and allies in game.

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What led to the pink ward trinket option being removed

Xypherous Final PortraitA lot of the trinket options were removed to streamline the system down. There are some interesting expansion opportunities for the trinket space that I want to look into – and so we removed it to condense the space down to the bare minimum to replicate what most of the players on live regularly use.

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DEV BLOG Starting Items in the 2016 Season

Pwyff Final PortraitPosting for Xypherous!

Our original intent with starting items before this season was to give players the ability to reflexively counter their opponents with generalist options running alongside more pronounced counter-items for specific circumstances (Flask, Doran’s Shield).

However, after a couple of seasons of attempting to balance this world, we’ve grown unhappy with how confining this approach is and the general problems that resulted from this approach. We’re decided to take a different tactic and adopt a pattern closer to the support line of items: Starter items that clearly express some kind of goal or intent in lane alongside a more generalist item for each of the positions in the game.

Magic – Doran’s Ring vs. The Dark Seal

Doran’s Ring is a powerful farming generalist item while The Dark Seal signifies an intent to roam and pick up champion kills along the the way.

While this doesn’t support the full spectrum of mages in mid, it does represent two of the largest factions – push mages vs. assassin roamers.

Attack – Cull vs. Doran’s Blade

Cull is an early skirmish option designed to be focused primarily around farming and light aggression.

Doran’s Blade on the other hand, is a generalist option that scales much better into mid-game and is better in skirmish situations.

Jungle – Hunter’s Talisman vs. Hunter’s Machete

Machete has long favored a certain class of attack speed centric characters and this represents a quandary of how to actually support mage or tank style junglers from the get-go.

Machete now doubles down on its auto-attack centric nature while Talisman focuses on area burn and mana regeneration. Talisman is primarily designed for spell focused junglers – especially those that have repeated area of effect attacks on moderate cooldowns (like Brand or Zyra).

Both of these initial items are required to upgrade into the Tier 2 Jungle item, so your choice of initial item will eventually become moot. However, this flexibility of starting options combined with the patience system should open up stronger opening jungle patterns to a wider variety of junglers.

Lane Sustain – Health Potion vs. Refillable Potion

One of the major issues with Crystalline Flask right now is that we are unable to push its power to the point where it feels non-abusive in lane. This is due to the fact that it stacks with potions and thus any power add-on in Crystalline Flask gets doubled down on because you stack potions with it.

Hence, the new inventory rule: you can only ever have one type of potion in your inventory at any time.

Refillable Potions are 3 times more expensive than a potion but benefit from the fact that they will recharge once you return to the fountain. Normal Healing Potions represent more healing up-front for less gold but is obviously temporary in nature.

Refillable Upgrades – Jungle vs. Lane

This, by itself, would probably still be on the weak side. However, Refillable Potions can upgrade into two versions: Hunter’s Potion and Corrupting Potion.

Hunter’s Potion is a roam-centric potion that can regain charges out in the field while you are killing large jungle monsters. It’s designed primarily to support a Jungle playstyle that focuses on maximal uptime or bolstering characters with low innate sustain.

Corrupting Potion is similar to Crystalline Flask on live – with the added benefit of combat power. During its effect, damaging enemy champions will burn them for magic damage over time. Corrupting Potion represents an intent to harass your lane opponent until they give up.

Mana Potions – Removed

Mana Potions have been removed from the game. We’ve generally found that the decision to opt into Mana Potions was one that was either forced upon some champions (aka “I need this mana to function”) or one that was generally only available to a handful of circumstances.

The best use cases of Mana Potions were typically to circumvent Mana restrictions for boom/bust play patterns (ie: save up to X amount of mana before dumping it all in a large burst of damage, repeat) vs. attrition-based approaches that are more in favor of straight mana regeneration. A champion being able to access their big “all-in” combo more frequently also makes it challenging for us to balance appropriately, and we’ve seen some more frustrating champions have their power reduced as a result.

With the removal of mana potions, we can also retune some champion mana values back to a middle ground. We’ve looked at the data for champions that frequently bought 2 or more mana potions in the game and we’ve either increased their maximum mana or the mana regeneration values based on their class.

  • Closing

For the start of the season, we’ve focused on granting at least two options to a particular need in the starting item space to support a wider variety of playstyles and intents from the start of the game.

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Why are you both buffing earlygame harass and nerfing Dorans Shield

Xypherous Final PortraitBased on usage – the maximum sustain starts were most frequently used by characters that thrived on early harass. Pantheon, Kassadin and the like were the most effective users of maximal sustain starts – and they frequently used that high sustain to capitalize on early bullying pressure.

While I agree with you that there’s a dearth of solo lane tank starts – most of the solo tank starting item patterns that seem to make senseat first glance – we’ve found that when those options are strong – they tend to be better on pretty much anyone but solo tanks – like bot lane support/adc pairs.

You’ve gone and added a ton of new items for every other class

If we’re not talking about starting items – this item pass has mostly focused on AD Marksmen and some light AD work – rather than ‘every other class.’

The other facet of this is that in the Juggernaut update – there have been a ton of items – while their primary users aren’t tanks – have added to the tank pool of items (DMP and Sterak’s.)

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Why are you buffing Dorans Blade

Xypherous Final PortraitFree lifesteal in the ferocity tree makes the relative advantage of picking up a Doran’s Blade weaker in the early item selection phase – as it means it now has to compete with some of the older component based starts (Long Sword + 3) at a much large disadvantage.

Long Sword + 3 is especially problematic if it becomes the default option again – as that’s more early in-lane sustain, hence why we try to keep DBlade competitive with it.

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Its power creep to buff one item start for ADCs so it competes with another

Xypherous Final PortraitIn order to run this argument – you need to run through this by several means:

  1. The mastery AD tree gives you as much power in terms of raw offense as before / The beneficiaries of Doran’s Blade have more total raw power than before in pre-game.
  2. Similar argument to #1 – but from a relative perspective – AKA – everyone lost more than they gained.
  3. That this power advantage hasn’t been taken into account elsewhere – like their most powerful first item buy.
  4. That other starting item paths haven’t been buffed as well or heavily adjusted.

While I’m not convinced any of these are true or false as there’s a lot of mechanics going on – I know that a lot of the AD efficiency, early potential spike in AD power, the conversion from total pen to bonus pen in the AD system and the decoupling of flat pen from % pen in the mastery system make the AD curve less steep than it previously was.

While I can’t go out to say that ‘No, power creep isn’t happening’ – What I can say is that I can see other factors that work in the opposite direction of power creep – so adjustment based off initial reads is likely the best solution.

You can strongly make the claim ‘I think a Solo tanks early game is weaker than it was’ – which is probably true. I’m less certain about the statement that ‘Solo tanks are weaker’ as a whole – as most of the efficiency passes, especially in terms of MR – are more favorable to them.

All that said, I totally get why you feel the way that you do. It’s not your job to read every change and put them all together and evaluate whether or not it comes out in one way or another.

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If we arent meant to bring the new pots to lategame why do they cost so much

Xypherous Final PortraitYou can claim this about most non-upgradeable starting items.

However, the catch-22 part comes in only if you assume that games cannot be won before slots start to become a problem or that the item’s power curve doesn’t translate well into the mid-game at all.

Sellback values mitigate some of the initial cost for the mid and late game – and the trade-off between a more powerful early start vs. a guaranteed late game is always whether or not you got enough interim value out of the item to make up the deficit in this regard in terms of either uptime or personal performance.

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Why do the Dark Seal and Mejai lose a flat amount of stacks per death

Xypherous Final PortraitThe most common points of feedback when losing a % of stacks is that it’s never worth it to trade kills and die with the item – since the better you did – the more stacks you lose. Experimenting with a flat amount of stacks so that players can evaluate their plays much better. Did you get 2+ kills? Then it was worth it, even if you died.

The other part of this is that a % loss on death lead to some awkward double-kill or post-death / post-assist death scenarios. While flat suffers from similar problems at the low end – it won’t be as ubiquitous.

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I feel like Mejai got even more snowbally than before

Xypherous Final PortraitThe item is likely more snowbally than before. The idea behind the Dark Seal is that you have a point in the game where you:

  1. Broadcast that you want to do a snowball route (since.. the Dark Seal doesn’t really build into anything else.)
  2. Have a chance to back out if things don’t go your way.

So there’s much less initial risk to the item – and thus the item can be snowbally but will be less feast or famine because a good player can cut his losses early, so to speak.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Are there plans to make a third flask that simply heals faster than the others

Xypherous Final PortraitNot at the moment.

Maximum sustain in lane is something that players would always like more of (as the best way to beat your opponent is to simply have more health at any given time – go go 13 potion starts).

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Was it intentional to make the biscuits effect NOT apply to flasks

Xypherous Final PortraitFor now, yes. Although, I could certainly see us deciding the other way in the future easily based on item usage. Eternal Biscuit of Replenishment?

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

What are the expected starting items for someone who needs sustain

Xypherous Final PortraitIf you need a huge chunk of sustain – the expected stat is that you get Corrupting Potion. The other facet of this is that there are a lot more individual sustain options in other pre-game systems (Lifesteal naturally in ferocity tree, for example) – so there should be enough customization bits out of game to bolster this as well.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Do you think some Champions will become weak due to the Mana pot removal

Xypherous Final PortraitCurrently the stance is that we’d prefer if Mana purchases reflected more permanent decision making. This is why Frostfang’s line of MP/5 has been greatly increased for example.

Mana potions to support off uses is a niche benefit but the niche benefit doesn’t really outweigh tremendous initial costs in tuning. 😡

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

It feels like Cull and The Dark Seal are trap items that make laning too weak

Xypherous Final PortraitAgree that these two items have a higher risk potential than the standard starting items. Dark Seal and Cull don’t necessarily have to be purchased as your first buy – if you want to take a safer route and see how the lane goals.

Doran’s Ring into Dark Seal instead of a second Doran’s Ring after you’ve gauaged the lane can be an effective way at mitigating that risk. Similarly with Doran’s Blade into first back Cull.

The other idea that we’re stressing here is that, in the absence of greedy items – there’s no real way to punish a safe lane that’s doubled down on being as not dead as possible. Cull / Dark Seal both support the notion that – if you try that approach – then I can respond by getting more out of the laning phase than you will via farm or more powerful rewards for roam.

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How do you think the jungle changes will affect AD assassins

Xypherous Final PortraitWe turn over the jungle pool every year pretty consistently – so the ability for an individual jungler to have the same clear speed as before isn’t as important. AD Casters will specifically generally have a harder time of it in this year than previous years.

It’s definitely something we’ll have to keep tuning as we get better data on how players are adapting.

[ Link to Post ]

 


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

 

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Here are the most recent news in each category:

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Answering concerns of allowing groups in Ranked Solo Queue

[ Note ] You can find the official post that lists all the Preseason Ranked improvements HERE.

Socrates New PortraitI’ve seen a few concerns popping up around opening ranked queues to larger premades over the last 24 hours. I want to walk you through why we’re making the change in a little more detail. First, I want to say this is the subject of debate internally and it’s something we’re going to be watching closely to see how it plays out over the preseason. That in mind, the argument really comes down to the following:

First, when we looked at your feedback around the issues with ranked queues, we saw a pattern:

“I had a leaver in my game, resulting in me getting demoted”
“I ran into a rager who ruined my promotions”
“I’m bronze V because these noobs I’m getting matched with”

What’s the pattern? As a player, I didn’t have control of who I was playing with in a highly competitive environment resulting in misaligned competitive intentions. We’ve built systems to address many of these issues, but ultimately we realized we had hit diminishing returns without implementing more fundamental changes.

Next, ranked standing currently is a reflection of your ability as an individual to carry in a team game. We of course believe great play should be recognized and rewarded and it should be the foundation of ranked standing, along with team work. Right now ranked standing is far more representative of personal mastery than teamwork. This is why when you look at solo queue the games are so different from high level team games. When we looked at this pattern, we asked ourselves why it should be this way. Why should the most authoritative standing of your abilities in a team game be a rating that requires you explicitly not play as a team?

Finally, we just straight up asked players if they wanted the change via a large scale feedback tool. A small number of players were strongly opposed, the vast majority of players were in favor or strongly in favor. This doesn’t make it the right decision, but it was a data point we considered an important part of the picture.

We believe this change will reshape behavior around the ranked experience and we’re excited to see what happens during the preseason. Change is scary, and we realize this is a big change. As the stewards of ranked we are going to be analyzing the hell out of the data we get during the preseason to make sure this is a step forward for the game.

For the open minded and the skeptics alike: we look forward to seeing what happens in the preseason and to hearing your feedback.

[ Link to Post ]

 

Follow Up Banner

Lyte Final Portrait Sorry I haven’t been able to hop on this thread until now–busy trying to bughunt with the team and it’s been a long few days.

We knew that Dynamic Ranked would be a highly controversial topic, and it even was widely debated internally. It came down to a few key points:

1) The vast majority of players preferred to play League with friends, but there was currently no end-game progression in League other than Ranked (we’re not going to count Ranked Teams because we agree there are many issues such as a high barrier of entry). Most players do want to try Ranked, so players were forced to enter a queue that artificially capped your party at 1 or 2 and made the game less social. This was bad.

2) We added a few matchmaking features to bias the system so that it would pair similar group combinations against each other. So, premade 5s would most likely play other premade 5s, and so on and so forth. In our testing, and when we modeled data from Normal Draft Queue to emulate what it would be like if we did Dynamic Ranked, over 95% of the time groups were paired with similar size groups. We’ll have to monitor the behavior of Dynamic Ranked to see if the pattern is the same, but we’re hopeful.

3) There’s actually a pretty big perception issue with premades in League. When I talk to players, they always remember the premade that bullied them or made the game more toxic; however, when I point out behind the scenes and show them the data that almost every single Ranked game has a Duo Queue in it… they are shocked. The perception problem is that you only remember the games where a premade did have an issue, but you never remember the games where they were quiet and just didn’t give away they were a premade. We’ve been measuring toxicity in premade combinations for awhile now and believe that most most combinations of premade 2s and 3s are fine, and premade 4s have a little bit more toxicity than we’d like. Premade 5s are obviously awesome experiences. So what are we doing about premade 4s?

4) As you may have noticed, we’ve beefed up the Report System, and added new features to the Instant Feedback System. More than ever before, Premade 4s won’t be able to “affect” your account if they simply gang up and try to bully you with reports. In fact, if they do this often and they file false reports, they can be banned for this behavior. Secondly, in a Premade 4 situation, your reports are just as powerful as the group, so if they are showing toxic behaviors at all, your single report can have a meaningful impact and trigger a punishment. We believe measures like this will help balance out this specific scenario to be less negative.

5) With the new Champ Select experience, we’re giving players more benefits than ever before to play with friends because we believe playing with friends is the right way to enjoy League–we don’t want the game to become an anti-social experience. For example, there will be a promo bonus for playing in parties during the launch of the Ranked 2016 Season, and playing in parties is the best way to guarantee exactly what positions you want to play in the new Dynamic Ranked Queue. We understand that we’re going to frustrate the purists that enjoy playing solo and seeing what they can do alone among a group of 4 strangers but, we want you to give this a try before slamming it. More players playing Ranked means more competition for you, and it means quicker queue times at low and high MMRs. We also have ideas to expand the Ranked system even more in the future to give multiple ways for you to challenge yourself and your friends.

6) Like any big change, we’re going to have to monitor this one carefully. We ask you guys to be patient and give it a chance. We’ll ultimately make the right decision, but a LOT of players have voiced their opinions that they do want a more social Ranked experience and want to play in a Dynamic Ranked queue. Give it a chance, and we’re listening if it doesn’t work.

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Why are you allowing 5man premades in Solo Queue when theres Team Queue

Lyte Final PortraitRanked Teams had too high of a barrier–a forced roster, a roster cap, and playing X games together before your MMR stabilized. Solo/Duo Queue was a pretty anti-social experience, and players kept saying over and over again in research they want something in-between Ranked Teams and Solo/Duo. Hop on, grab a few friends (no matter how many) and play for stakes. I think this is going to be far more competitive than players think, they just have to give it a shot.

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Dont you think a solo player matching against 4 premades is at a disadvantage

Lyte Final PortraitNo, a 4:1 team is not at a disadvantage compared to the other 4:1 team. These cases all output a 50/50 win rate over time.

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Wont inferior communication make solo players unable to compete with groups

Lyte Final PortraitThis is why groups will match against other groups more often before being matched against teams of solos.

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TL DR Will I get Ranked Rewards

Victorious Sivir Minibanner

DARTAGNAN Final PortraitHey everyone,

Ranked Rewards are the culmination of everyone’s hard work throughout the season (or grinding those 10 ranked games at the last minute XD). We want to make sure everyone knows the exact requirements in order to unlock those rewards:

 


Ranked Season

  • Ranked Queues will be disabled on November 11th, 00:01 in each region. For NA, this is PST — Click here for EUW, EUNE, and OCE
    • You can queue at any time before this, and the game will still count. You can even queue at exactly 00:00 PST on November 11th, and the ranked game willstill count.
    • The Ranked Season will officially end once the final ranked game is completed in that region
    • Challenger/Master tiers will update one final time after the final games are completed (after the Ranked queue is disabled) which determine the end of season standings
  • To earn rewards, you must have played ALL 10 games
  • If you decay at exactly 00:00 PST on November 11th, you will get rewards based on where you land after the decay. Decay is turned is disabled on November 11th, 00:01 PST — the same time Ranked Queues are disabled
  • You can find a full list of rewards for each Tier in this Article
  • Rewards are displayed for specific queues. A full explanation can be found here

Ranked Solo-queue

  • Can be completed solo or with a duo-queue partner
  • Rewards are awarded depending on your ending rank at November 11th, 00:01 PST,NOT your highest achieved
  • You must be Silver Tier and above to receive a Loading Screen border
  • You must be Gold Tier and above to receive the Victorious Sivir Skin (If you don’t own Sivir, she will be added to your account.)
    • NOTE: If you purchased Sivir right before receiving Victorious Rewards, she willnot be refunded.

Ranked Teams

  • A ranked team must have completed 5 ranked games by November 11th, 00:01 PST
  • You must have WON 10 games in a single ranked team to qualify for team rewards
    • You must have 10 wins on the same team, not on multiple teams
    • If you won 10 ranked games on a team, and then are kicked from that team, you will not earn rewards. Player Support cannot override or change this.
    • If you were kicked from a team for whatever reason, you will need to win 10 NEWgames on that team (if re-invited) or on a different team.
      • For example, if you won 5 games, and then were kicked from the team (then re-invited), you would need to win 10 more games, not just 5
    • If your team goes into an in-active state before November 11th, 00:01 PST, your team will not earn rewards
  • The Ranked Team Ward Skin is unlocked for each individual (not team) based on how many points you individually earned during the Ranked Season:
    • You must WIN Ranked Team games to earn points — Points are individually earned, not tied to specific teams
      • Victory in Ranked Team 3v3 – 1 point
      • Victory in Ranked Team 5v5 – 3 points
      • Points are earned from ALL Ranked Teams combined. Points do not have to be earned within a single Ranked Team. Even if you leave the team, are kicked, or if the team disbands, your points remain.
    • Ward Skin tiers are unlocked at 20, 45 and 75 points respectively
      • You must earn 20 points to earn the base Ward Skin

Things that will get your ass disqualified from Ranked Rewards

  • Being banned or having active chat/ranked restrictions at November 11th, 00:01 PST
  • If you had any 7 day or more bans, they must have expired/ended at or before August 9th, 23:59 PST
    • For example, if you received a 7 day ban on August 2nd and it ended on or sometime before August 9th, 23:59 PDT, you are eligible for rewards
    • On the other hand, if you received a 7 day ban on August 3rd and it ended on or after August 10th, 00:00 PST, you are ineligible for rewards
  • Players banned for boosting during the 2015 season remain ineligible for rewards
    • Both those who boosted and those who did the boosting are ineligible
  • Players who received fraud-related (including Chargeback bans) and accidental/false bans will still be eligible
  • Players who had LeaverBuster suspensions are still eligible
  • Being ineligible for 2015 Ranked Rewards does not automatically disqualify you from getting other rewards in future seasons

Reward Distribution

  • All rewards (Borders, banners, icons, Skin Wards, Victorious Sivir/Champion) should be distributed by November 18th, 23:59 PST
    • Rewards are distributed in waves. If you see others with rewards, but you haven’t been rewarded yet, don’t panic! You will get your rewards in a subsequent wave
  • If you earned rewards, but did not receive them by November 18th, 23:59 PST, feel free to submit a ticket to Player Support so we can investigate further!

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Ive reached Gold only in Team Queue will I still get Victorious Sivir

DARTAGNAN Final PortraitIf your team is Gold AND you have won 10 games on that team, you get the Victorious Sivir Skin.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

If my last ban was on August 9th will I get the endseason rewards

DARTAGNAN Final PortraitIf the ban ends after August 10th, 00:00 PST, you will not be getting rewards.

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If I qualify for a Tier 3 Ward Skin do I still get the Tier 1 and 2 skins

DARTAGNAN Final PortraitYou get the skin at your tier. Think of it as a single ward skin that “evolves” depending on your tier.

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How is the Ranked decay time calculated

DARTAGNAN Final PortraitKeep in mind that decay is only for those in Plat and above. Other than that though, decay should start ticking the moment your game ended. So if you ended at 10am, it would decay exactly 28 days at 10am.

Just to be careful though, you may want to consider playing a game to make sure you don’t decay!

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

DEV BLOG Marksman Itemization

Quinn Banner

Reinboom Final PortraitHello all! Riot Reinboom here to bring you a look into the thoughts behind the Marksman itemization changes this preseason. 😀

To jump straight to the point, Marksmen have a number of pain points in the game right now. There’s a distinct lack of individuality between Marksmen. For most, their items are incredibly prescriptive and there’s not a lot of deviation. Generally, as a class, they suffer from high team demands without a lot of self expression to work within those demands.

The major thread woven between most of these issues is a distinct lack of meaningful choice.

  • Meaningful Choice

We’ve mentioned Meaningful Choice before.

What’s most important here however is the method to achieving meaningful choice (rather than just choice). For Marksman items, we tackled this with three different strategies: “Autonomy”, “Reaction”, and “Prediction”.

Autonomy. Autonomy as a choice is represented by the tradeoff of multiple fantasies (whether they be gameplay fantasies, thematics, or anything you can form a personal attachment to). Feeling attached to Statikk Shiv because you personally value wave clear and are willing to sacrifice your other options for it, is an aspect of autonomy shown in item form.

Reaction. Reaction as a choice is represented by your capability to solve a problem presented to you. There are multiple types of reaction. For these changes, we’ll be focusing on responses to your opponents in the items they build, the champions they pick, and the needs of your team.

Planning. Planning as a choice is represented by the tactical and strategic goals you create for individual games. This can be seen by decisions on how you or your team should address each fight (and then building to work within that understanding), or the order for which you build your components, such as getting a Pick Axe to prep for your Last Whisper as you wait for your opponent to inevitably build armor.

  • Supporting Variety

When it comes to supporting more options for Marksman, we often run into a difficult problem we call “The Marksman Damage Optimization Problem.” Marksmans item choices have classically been guided by a very simple and direct point of output: “How can I do the most damage with the options presented to me?”

We’re operating under the assumption that this problem is fundamental to Marksman and their role within League. There are a number of reasons for this.

In games (not just League) single points of optimization, when that point can empower itself, tend to be notably strong. In Marksman’s case, their single point of optimization is damage. This is primarily caused by their damage being reliable via ranged auto-attacks, meaning they can leverage positioning (which is free) as a primary defense.

However, we feel like this identity is clear for Marksman. This type of distinct identity allows League to work as a team game, where each individual has their contribution. So in order to support keeping what makes a Marksman a Marksman while still offering choice, we’ll be exploring a different route: While picking up the stats that give Marksman their damage, we should offer choices among those items along the way.

You can see this already in the game with the choice posed by Phantom Dancer and Statikk Shiv. Unfortunately, the nuance of this choice can be hard to appreciate (am I behind, or could be behind in gold?), and even then there’s not a lot of these types of selections.

  • The Changing Landscape

To wrap it altogether, choices that end up just being damage optimization tests aren’t great. But that’s the expectation of a Marksman. And they have core needs on top of core needs built out of natural consumption of “a lot of different stats.”

The direction we went with to introduce meaningful choice to these restrictions is the idea of “horizontal expansion.” Take the model presented by the current system, and diversify within those bounds. Your options for lifesteal need to be greater than a single item. The items that define a Marksman’s play pattern should expand beyond just “awesome auto attacks.” Your options available for who you can target should be greater than “always buy Last Whisper.”


Identity

Who am I? Do I autoattack quite a bit? Okay, Infinity Edge. Maybe I autoattack a lot? Infinity Edge. No, seriously, autoattacks are my jam and I will hear nothing less. Fine, Blade of the Ruined King.

Not a lot there.

There’s a few valid ways of addressing this: we could push more differences between the auto attacks (insert roster devblog link here), or we could push some Marksman to be empowered by their abilities.

Identity items highlight and specialize the choices you made at champion select. Once again, “Who am I?” We don’t feel like in the current landscape the more caster-like Marksman are well served by this idea. Enter: Essence Reaver.

Essence Reaver is being changed to offer caster marksman access to a stat they’ve desired, but could never really (or rarely) fully utilize: Cooldown Reduction.

Essence Reaver now has the capability to generate you up to 30% Cooldown Reduction by leveraging the Critical Strike Chance available from other Marksman items. We you to feel comfortable making the same damage offers, choices, and expectations from the rest of the Marksman items while being able to uniquely leverage what your champion pick offered.


Multiplier

Statikk Shiv or Phantom Dancer. Am I behind or am I ahead?

There’s a lot of possible room with these items, except that Phantom Dancer is the poster child for TMDOP (“The Marksman Damage Optimization Problem,” remember?).

So we’re changing that. And we’re widening what it means to be a multiplier item.

In addition to be the damage curve definers, the pointed tip at the end of your two item spike, multipliers are getting an additional identity: “How should I fight?” This is a choice grounded primarily within autonomy (“What works best for me?”) as well as reaction (“What works best for my team?”).

We divided this choice into four large branches:

Phantom Dancer: I should skirmish and duel.
Hurricane: I want to team fight and wombo.
Statikk Shiv: I must push.
Rapid Firecannon: I need to siege.


Situational Offense

Last Whisper highlights an interesting problem. The usage of total penetration meant that even against champions not buying armor, Last Whisper was actually at least a +10% physical damage amp. This was actually a “generally useful” item masquerading under the guise of a tank killer.

We want to break the above expectations to make selective offense a little less automatic while, at the same time, making it easier to pick up a response when it’s necessary. Selective offensive items are now guided by their components and what you’re giving up, while being significantly more targeted than the current Last Whisper.

The components:

Last Whisper: I need to get through their bonus armor.
Executioner’s Calling: I need to stuff their life steal or health gain.
Giant Slayer: I need to climb over their mountain of health.

These items can be combined up, with a final selection of which type of selection are you leaving out:

Lord Dominik’s Regards: A combination of Last Whisper and Giant Slayer
Mortal Reminder: A combination of Last Whisper and Executioner’s Calling

Do note the change from total to bonus armor penetration, as all of these are still armor pen items at heart. It bears repeating: we do not want these items to be generalist damage purchases. This is also why we split the use case of Mortal Reminder (taking out high sustain targets like enemy marksmen, Swain, Mundo, etc) and Lord Dominik’s Regards (tank busting). If you find you don’t need the situational offense these items bring (or nobody’s building any armor!), maybe you can look into picking up another multiplier, or some…


Situational Defense

The key defense favored by Marksman is lifesteal, but there’s not a lot available here so all Marksman default to the same purchase: The Bloodthirster. This stat is so core that it actively pushes aside all other defensive choices until it’s covered.

We’re running with that idea. For Marksman, lifesteal means defense. The result is all the items in this category provide enough lifesteal before letting you branch into the types of defenses you should otherwise situationally take.

The Bloodthirster: I need to sustain through everything
Death’s Dance: I need to get burst off me long enough to hit
Mercurial Scimitar: I need to be free (of CC)


Going Forward

  • There’s a lot of new abilities and interactions presented by the changed items, and we don’t believe we have every one of these ironed out.

League of Legends hasn’t been tuned to the idea that some Marksman will get 40% Cooldown Reduction, for example, and it’s impossible to know the full effects of this.

We’ll be watching diligently to identify what’s problematic and what’s not!

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Why do ADCs need to dedicate only a single item slot to deal with tanks

Reinboom Final PortraitMarksman are the damage class that’s in charge with killing tanks (eventually).
We don’t want that to be increased (or increased to a notable degree) above what’s on live however.

One of the more difficult balancing points for a carry class is these expectations. If, as a class, we need Marksman to deal less damage to squishier targets, that’s difficult to do because it will break their expectations on needing to kill tankier targets. If we need Marksman to deal more damage to tankier targets, that’s difficult to do because that will make them delete squishier targets.

Lord Dominik’s Regards compared to old Last Whisper is this redirected in a vacuum. Moving from total penetration to bonus penetration is actually a rather significant nerf in damage against all targets, squishy and tanky. Everyone has base armor and there’s a lot of it. Depending on who the target is, just that conversion is a loss from anywhere around 10% to upwards of around 20% damage.

Giant Slayer is doing two things in that Regards.
1: It’s covering up the damage nerf on the item to some of the classes. If it’s still too high, it can be individually adjusted without much pain either.
2: It retains and confirms Marksman’s weakness of not favoring health (so things like Trinity Force and The Black Cleaver are less favorable if you’re also getting this)

(note: The damage it gives is based on the difference between the Marksman’s health and its target, so it gets weaker the more health the Marksman has)

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

What if ADCs start killing mages with an early Rod of Ages or Rylais too fast

Reinboom Final PortraitPlanned initial reaction if that showcases itself is to push it out to maxing at 800 health difference.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

 

Why do AD casters reach their CDR cap much easier than AP casters

Pwyff Final PortraitI think it’s incredibly dangerous to compare AD casters – most of whom rely on their spells for sustained, low-burst damage (maybe not Graves) with little to no CC, vs. AP Casters, many of whom have game-winning abilities should they get the right catch.

CDR is, like any stat – mana, health, armor, whatever – something that interacts with the kit in its own way. Trying to extrapolate some grand truth seems weird. Additionally, this is me calling you out for posing an opinion as a question. A real question might be “why do you think making CDR an easily accessible stat is valuable for marksmen? Especially when compared to mages?”

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Do you worry that ADCs will deal too much damage and receive too little

Reinboom Final PortraitMany worries.

There is always that tipping point in sight. Marksmen optimize for damage so directly which means creating a desirable enough defensive item is difficult without pushing on this risk.

We’ve intentionally starved the high end damage points because of this. Infinity Edge and Phantom Dancer had a ways it could go while still being “high end damage items”. Their damage is going down specifically to make room for more interesting abilities.

I don’t believe we’ve hit the balance needed for this perfectly yet. It’s difficult to get a degree of imbalance with this many changes (and there will likely be something that slips out obscene, oh preseason). But it can be adjusted once out.

More importantly, there are actually a notable number of more tools that let us reach those adjustments now. e.g. If a tank becomes unseen due to these changes, raising their base armor per level is much more meaningful now.

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You said that Grievous Wounds is bad for the game Howd that change

Reinboom Final PortraitWe didn’t change our mind. Personally, I believe that GW as it exists on live can’t be supported systemically and is very oppressive.

However, with these changes GW was changed to 40% reduction (down from 50%) as well as only blocking self only healing. So as an example, it will stop Soraka’s self sustain, but not her support sustain. 40% may very well still be too high, but we’ll be able to respond to it if so (lowering it further perhaps).

Having an response for “there’s a LOT of X quality on the enemy team, our team should have answers” is important.

It’s also important to note that this change is global, and it will affect other sources of Grievous Wounds. If this impacts other sources of GW too negatively (like what may happen with Morellonomicon) then we can adjust it after we get a better handle of GW through the preseason.

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Follow Up Banner

If the heal debuff ends up too strong why not restrict it rather than nerf it

Reinboom Final PortraitThere is a low point (in testing, I found that to be around 30%) for which GW just doesn’t feel attractive anymore, even when it is.

If it drops too much further, then we will seek out other forms of gating on the items. Duration is a clear hit (from the 3 and 5 now to 2 and 4, or 1.5 and 3). If that still not enough, then we’ll seek more complex options.

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Why is there no prerequisite for GW to proc on Executioners Calling

Riot Axes New PortraitWe think this model is correct for Executioner’s Calling, particularly given the changes to Grievous Wounds (e.g. it no longer applies to healing from allies, so Soraka’s W isn’t reduced). It’s possible that we need to re-evaluate Morellonomicon, though I’m much less sure about that one.

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Can you design a different component than Zeal or Dagger for items like PD

Riot Axes New PortraitWe could, but adding more components carries its own costs and the value just isn’t there. By having them share so much of their build path, we allow you to choose which one you really need later, which means more adaptation to the game state. For this particular set of items, we value that pretty highly.

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Why are the item recipes for Statikk Shiv and Rapid Firecannon identical

Riot Axes New PortraitThis reinforces the shared properties of those two items. It’s not ideal, but I wouldn’t consider it a big problem either.

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Why does The Bloodthirster have a 1500 gold combine cost on the PBE

Riot Axes New PortraitI’m gonna fix this one.

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Do you think The Bloodthirster will be able to compete with Mercurial Scimitar

Riot Axes New PortraitYes, I do. You’re glossing over the value of 10% lifesteal and effectively 300+ health later in the game – that’s a huge amount of power. That said, I do think we’re going to see a lot of double lifesteal builds, so I suspect it’s more a question of “Pick 2 of Death’s Dance, Mercurial Scimitar, Bloodthirster, Blade of the Ruined King, or Maw of Malmortius” rather than a direct comparison between these two items, and I think Bloodthirster fits in as one of those 2 in many situations.

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Why do both Last Whisper upgrades provide identical stats

Riot Axes New PortraitWhen we do that, it’s because we want to force a spotlight onto the one real point of difference – do you want to deal with tanky champs better or do you need grievous wounds? Stat differences tend to force you to optimize around your champion’s stat usage – you get a situation where Jinx always buys X, Lucian always buys Y, which means that neither gets much of a choice and Jinx just ends up with the property “Does more damage to health stackers” and Lucian just ends up with the property “Puts Grievous Wounds on targets”. There are situations where that’s a good thing, but that’s not what we’re going for here.

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Whyd you take 100 HP off Black Cleaver and made it cost 500 Gold more

Riot Axes New PortraitI answered this in more detail elsewhere in the thread, but Tl;dr: shifting power from defense to offense is intended to help Juggernaut build diversity a little bit by making it an even better choice in some situations but a wrong choice in others.

As for its efficiency going down specifically, it was one of our outlier overly efficient items.

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Why were FIGHTER items like Maw Triforce and Cleaver changed for ADCs

Riot Axes New PortraitI can explain the changes – tl;dr all of those changes were motivated by their Fighter use cases, NOT Marksmen.


Maw of Marmoltius is being changed with AD Assassins and light Fighters in mind, as a potential go-to MR item. The addition of flat armor penetration coupled with a pair of unique passives that reward you for taking risks helps Talon or Wukong a lot more than it helps any Marksman.

I do think there will be some Marksman usage of this item and that’s perfectly acceptable, but they aren’t intended core users and I don’t think they actually like this iteration better than the previous one, except that the previous one was weak.


The Black Cleaver is being changed with Juggernaut build diversity in mind. I realize that’s going to look strange since they’d prefer the previous iteration of the item – because it gave them everything they might want in a single package. On Live, if you’re a core Black Cleaver user, you’re going to rush it pretty much no matter what – it isn’t contextual at all. With the changes, if you really need defenses first, you won’t be able to rely on that item to solve it for you – but if you’re doing well and want more kill power so you can snowball, it’s even better.

I do anticipate more use by non-Juggernauts – it’s a better item for Wukong, for example, and that’s fine. I will be very surprised if Marksmen adopt it – maybe one (Graves?), but certainly not on any widespread basis. There’s no reason to build it with Essence Reaver and Essence Reaver is simply better for those champions.

This is the riskiest change of the three, and if it does break The Black Cleaver for Juggernauts, we will certainly be following up.


Trinity Force was actually changed in 3 different ways for different reasons:

(1) Power reduced across the board – it was one of the highest outliers for gold efficiency in the entire game, so our efficiency normalization pass hit it especially hard. Basically we want you purchasing items because the cool things they do fit your champion and goals in a game, not because it just gives more power than the rest.

(2) Sheen traded AP for CDR. This was a net buff for most (but not quite all) Sheen users – the item no longer forces you to spend gold on a stat you probably don’t care about. Even among the characters who do care about AP and bought Sheen, CDR should be approximately neutral in most cases. I’m sure there’s a champ or two who end up being sad about it, but they’re a small minority. Trinity Force inherits this change, which does make it better for Marksmen – but also better for most Fighters.

The main reason we’re excited about this change, however, is that it gives us a much better ability to make the items that build out of Sheen exciting in targeted ways. The immediate payoff there is the new Iceborn Gauntlet – Tanks can have a Sheen upgrade of their own now.

(3) Critical Strike increased, Attack Speed decreased. This is inherited from the Zeal changes – both values are exactly the same as Zeal. This one’s happening because of Marksmen but I wouldn’t say that it’s for Marksmen – it means that Marksmen can’t really use Tri Force as their single Attack Speed item anymore (for the few that did use it that way), but it does mean they can use it for their single crit item much more effectively.

I agree that this feels bad for Fighters, but we’ve been over our other options here and short of making Trinity Force a much different item (e.g. increasing its bonus AD by 40 or something) there’s not a better alternative available, unfortunately. Options like Recurve Bow tend to feel just as bad for Fighters (at least Zeal has % move speed!), so they aren’t actually improvements.

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I think we should get another ADC option for Armor Penetration

Reinboom Final PortraitWould you be willing to divulge your thoughts on this? 🙂

We actually had three in testing at one point (with a slightly different profile). The number of new items and item changes was overwhelming for quite a few people.

It’s much easier to add more when there’s a clear trade already established, so it’s open design space in the future. Before we decide to explore that space once more I would like to wait some time first for people to get used to all the current item changes.

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How do you plan on nerfing Essence Reaver if it becomes problematic

Reinboom Final PortraitWe’re not beholden to how ER is currently worded. One of the responses we’ve considered is dropping its bonus CDR from crit to cap when you have 30% crit from other items instead of just 20%. I feel like ER is strong but in the same way that IE is strong. If those two balance comparatively, then nerfing (or buffing) it will most likely entail changing both.

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Wont Thresh suffer too much with Last Whisper affecting Bonus Armor only

Reinboom Final PortraitIt potentially hurts him more than most other champions. There tends to be those types of hits with any type of systemic change. We can adjust after (such as tweaking Thresh) if it’s a problem.

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Doesnt Bloodthirsters shield conflict with the passive on Deaths Dance

Reinboom Final PortraitYes, they do compete. They’re also a bit antisynergistic in that way. Prevented damage (such as from shields) isn’t “caught” by Death’s Dance. Death’s Dance exists to favor fighters and caster marksmen over others (where natural lifesteal is less favorable).

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New Masteries Build Tips and Theory Crafting

Stashu Final PortraitHey all!

First, if you haven’t already, go check out this player-made mastery calculator! I’ll be using this tool to link pages. Special thanks to Hudzen, DPatti, and Pyro for their work on it over the seasons – you guys are all awesome.

 

Anyway, let’s get into it. I understand that the new mastery system can be hard to get a feel for, so I wanted to get a few template-esque pages out there to help get everyone started. So, check out the links and associated champions below, and let me know what you think about these recommendations! And of course, please share some pages of your own 😀

Note: These are only intended as guidelines and should be just enough to get you started — I’ll leave the real theory-crafting / optimizing to you guys! I DO NOT want to prescribe your build, and rarely will there be a single optimal build, but if you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed, feel free to lean on what’s here until you figure out your own way!


12-18-0 Aggressive Jungler

Elise, Kha’Zix and Lee Sin

  • These assassin types will love the pen and burst damage offered by the Cunning Tree [hello, Thunderlord’s Decree!], paired with the more general damage amps offered by the Ferocity Tree. Savagery and Runic Affinity from the Cunning tree also really help out in the jungle.
  • If the early clear proves to be too challenging (Evelynn), opting into a safer 0-18-12setup might be the way to go.

12-0-18 Brawler

Darius, Nasus and Olaf

  • These juggernauts really benefit from the Grasp of the Undying mastery in the Resolve Tree. It turns their already high-health builds into more damage and sustain, allowing them to slog through the fight, dishing out and soaking up tons of damage.

0-12-18 Peel Tank

Braum, Maokai and Nautilus

  • If soaking up damage for your allies is more your thing, check out Bond of Stone in the Resolve Tree, and pick up some self healing and mana regeneration so you can keep yourself topped off while you protect your carries!

0-18-12 Utility Support

Sona, Soraka and Janna

  • Windspeaker’s blessing in the Cunning Tree multiplies the power of these more buff/heal-centric supports. In addition, picking up Secret Stash and Meditation will give their lane some serious staying power.
  • That said, swapping those 12 points into Ferocity, and selecting Thunderlord’s Decree as your keystone will give you some potent trading potential in lane. I encourage you to choose based on your own playstyle and preference!

18-12-0 Sustained Damage Caster

Ziggs, Cassiopeia and Azir

  • When you’re not just trying to one-shot someone, Deathfire Touch and co. from the Feroicty Tree will really amp up your damage over long periods of time, and the mana regeneration from the Cunning Tree will give you the resources to make it work.
  • When you ARE looking to one-shot someone (I’m looking at you guys: Veigar, Zed and Lux) , I’d recommend 12-18-0 instead!

18-0-12 Marksman

  • Ferocity suits the playstyle of most marksmen — Lifesteal and %armor pen? Sign ’em up!
  • Certain champions will inevitably make better use of certain keystones, but Marksmen should be able to viably run any of these keystones, depending on their preferred playstyles.
    • Do you like to poke with spells? Check out Deathfire Touch on Varus.
    • Is harassing with basic attacks more your thing? You’ll enjoy Fervor of Battle on Caitlyn.
    • More into heavy Crit/AD builds? Warlord’s Bloodlust can shore up your lifesteal and attack speed so you can focus on your core stats on Draven.
    • Some marksmen might opt into something like 18-12-0 for maximum damage, but I find passing up the laning defenses in the Resolve Tree too costly, personally 😉

Alright! That’s all from me. I left out a number of archtypes, like the light-fighting skirmishers (Fiora and Vi) , bulky divers (Vi and Xin Zhao) , and many more. Plus, many champions will have particularly unique set-ups, based on their kit, so I encourage you to break out of the molds I outlined above!

 

Today’s fan art collection is a tad longer, enjoy!

 

Captain Fortune by Mariana Ennes:

tumblr_nxbgmrLTAI1th7sueo1_1280

 

 

Pool Party Leona by TiNyThanhTruc:

leona_pool_party_by_tinythanhtruc-d9f9smy

 

 

Sona by Knarf97:

sona___league_of_legends_by_knarf97-d9f8crz

 


Ahri by j-witless:

morning_ahri_by_j_witless-d9f9o87

 

 

Riven by Tu Tu:

otLDlrw

 


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

 

Reds 24 10 Banner

 

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Here are the most recent news in each category:

Red Post Collection Thumbnail Official Site Post Thumbnail PBE Update Post Thumbnail

Current Sale Thumbnail Current Rotation Thumbnail

 

 

Some gameplay work in progress general gameplay thoughts

Meddler Final PortraitHi all!

Wanted to share a few of our thoughts on where we’re up to on some currently topical gameplay stuff. Trying out a different approach here with just quick updates on a number of topics rather than a focus on a couple of things (feedback on that much appreciated!).


The Preseason:

  • We’ve been putting a lot of work into updates for the upcoming preseason patch over the last couple of months, with changes to champions, items, vision etc. We’re getting very close to putting that stuff on PBE (all going according to plan).

 

Kindred Final Portrait

  • Kindred have been out for about a week now and we’re starting to see players get to grips with their kit. So far we’ve been really happy with the state of their release balance, so 5.21 won’t contain any buffs or nerfs, just some bug fixes. Really interested to see where they end up over the next couple of patches, there’s some definite learning curve there and we’re also seeing people experiment with them in a range of positions with a mix of success and failure.

 

Mordekaiser Final Portrait

  • Morde’s a pretty topical dude at the moment. Our belief is that he’s too strong in a duo lane, despite previous nerfs, so we’re going to be reducing the amount of bonus XP he gets from his W in 5.21. Our hope is that that will then give us some room to buff his base stats, bringing his solo laning closer to his duo lane performance. That’s something we’ll likely do as a follow up change though (potentially in 5.22), once we’ve got a read on what the impact of the XP reduction was.

  • Thematic side note for anyone that’s interested and hadn’t already heard – we’ll also be changing his title to ‘The Iron Revenant’ rather than the previous ‘Lord of Death’ (Iron Revenant being a player suggested title update that we felt did a great job of merging different thematic elements from Morde).

 

Poppy Final Portrait

  • Works heavily underway on Poppy. She’ll be the next really big champion update that goes out (Sion/GP sort of scale, so full overhaul of abilities, visuals, voice etc). Her E’s the only ability effectively ported over from her old kit, feel we’re going for’s still very much small, noble, determined warrior who smacks others around with a large hammer.

 

World Champs

  • Worlds has been getting a lot of attention for the Gameplay teams of course. We’ve been really enjoying the diversity of picks in some positions (mid lane especially), though are seeing that some others could do with more help (jungle for example). Some outlier champions that definitely seem too strong (Morde, GP, Darius etc), some of whom we’ve already nerfed post 5.18, some of which we’ve got stuff underway for. A number of champions too that we don’t yet have plans for, but are keeping a really close eye on and talking about quite a bit (Tahm Kench for example).

 

Upcoming Champs

  • We’ve had a couple of trends with new champions recently that have helped opened up new gameplay space (non damage utility ults) and thematic space (creatures of myth). We’ve been pretty happy with how those explorations have gone, we don’t have to overdo them though. Next set of champs we’ve got underway are going for a bit of contrast with that as a result, with a few more damage/combat focused ults and characters who are somewhat more a part of the regular world of Runeterra.

 

General Balance Changes

  • Since a lot’s going to change in the upcoming preseason patch we’re generally holding off on smaller balance changes for a little bit, given which characters are a bit too weak or a bit too strong could change significantly in the near future due to systemic changes.

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I think we should get a developer post like this every 3 or 4 patches

Meddler Final PortraitI’m also interested in finding something along those sort of lines. Still trying to figure out exact format, frequency, style etc, with this post as one test of what works for people versus what doesn’t.

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Meddler Final PortraitI’ll be trying to do these every so often. Buffs/nerfs/updates are one of the things I’ll be best able to cover, new champ ideas by contrast we generally prefer not to talk about until the champion’s ready. Game modes and skins by contrast are outside of my own area of expertise, so I’ll leave discussion on those to the folks who work on them who are much more able to talk about them usefully.

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Has Ao Shin been scrapped delayed due to animation issues with his body

Ao Shin Single Banner

Meddler Final PortraitAo Shin got put on hold quite a while back, in large part due to technical issues with making a serpentine creature look like we wanted in game. Plan’s always been to look at Ao Shin again once we’ve got the tech to do those body animations properly.

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Will we get another champion this year

Meddler Final PortraitCurrent expectation is that Kindred will not be the last new champ of the year.

We will continue to look for opportunities to get classes into less common positions, that’s not going to be a good fit for some champion concepts though.

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Why are you scrapping Poppys Q in her rework

Poppy Single Banner

Meddler Final PortraitPoppy’s Q is a very functional spell, but we felt there was opportunity to shift to something with more play and interest to it.

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Meddler Final PortraitShe’ll be more focused at controlling a fight and fighting people over longer periods over time than exploding a dude really quickly.

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Will there be any changes to Sightstone in the Preseason

Meddler Final PortraitSightstone upgrades will be part of the changes. Intent is to still keep those in a position where they’re generally more appealing on supports than other classes though.

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Do you think Cassiopeias in a good state

Cassiopeia Single Banner

Meddler Final PortraitSpeaking frankly about Cass:

  • We don’t believe Cass is in a good state post rework.
  • We also don’t believe pre-rework Cass was in a good state either.
  • We would like to do some work (scale unknown, though extremely unlikely to be a full scale rework) on Cass next year.

  • How that work will be prioritized hasn’t been determined yet. There are a number of other projects it’d have to be traded off against on either the Live Gameplay (balance) team or the Champion Update (reworks) team (projects like Ryze, Azir, Taric, Yorick etc).
  • Even if we do do work on Cass next year I can’t offer any promises as to when that might be. Could be some small stuff early in the year and some medium work later, just balance/QoL changes at some indeterminate point, a moderate sized piece of gameplay work late in the year etc.

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Why is Azir on your Gameplay update list

Azir Single Banner

Meddler Final PortraitAzir’s kit is sufficiently difficult to learn that it doesn’t seem to currently be possible to put him in a spot where he’s sufficiently balanced for experienced players without being extremely inaccessible to people unfamiliar with him. Learning curve and skill ceiling are great of course, in this case Azir’s skill floor’s too punishing though. Current intent is to look at ways to make him somewhat more accessible, with if needs be, some nerfs to his top end if those changes buff him there too.

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Do you have any plans now or in the future to rework or remove crit

Meddler Final PortraitCrit’s definitely got some issues (feeling screwed by RNG when you did everything right especially), so at some point we do want to do some work on it. It does add some variance and risk to otherwise extremely reliable, consistent actions (right clicking/getting right clicked) though, and LoL’s arguably a little too predictable at times at present. We don’t want to simply replace it with a guaranteed damage multiplier as a result and, whenever we do work on it, would want to bundle that with some other systemic changes.

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Do you think that mana conservationmanagement are good mechanics

Meddler Final PortraitI feel mana management’s a useful lever to have, both in terms of the control it offers over champion power at various points in the game and as an expression of player skill. Having said that I don’t feel that all characters should be mana gated equally. Some melee should arguably be gated in lane, but free to use spells generally on CD later in the game, given the challenges they have getting onto targets. Other long range characters, or healers, by contrast should generally have significant costs throughout the game.

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Whatre your thoughts on energybased resourceless Champions

Meddler Final PortraitResourceless characters and energy users are both types of champion I feel have a good place in the game in terms of the different playstyles, pacings (in lane and after) and abilities designs they allow. I do believe it’s healthy to have mana as the default resource however, with occasional exceptions and we’ll be going through a period of new champions who consistently use mana for a while (last non mana user was Rek’Sai, next 4 upcoming champions at least will probably all use mana).

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Do you think highmobility Champions are crowding out lowmobility ones

Meddler Final PortraitI believe it’s very possible for high and low mobility champions to coexist in lanes, I don’t think we’ve always given lower mobility champions sufficient compensation for the low mobility price they pay however. Being a low mobility champ should allow you to get access to some pretty powerful stuff that wouldn’t be appropriate on champs with dashes/blinks etc. Kog’Maw and Anivia are good examples to me of where that’s been done right, with both of them being options that more mobile marksmen/mages respectively don’t offer.

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Are there any buffs planned for Syndra

Syndra Banner

Meddler Final PortraitWe’d still like to make some improvements to Syndra’s passive, probably in a way that added a bit of power to her to. No short term plans for that though, that’ll be a sometime post preseason project (timing uncertain, since our current road map for balance type changes primarily reads ‘Get preseason ready and then follow up on preseason’).

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What happened to Rivens Edge resource on the PBE Why was it reverted

Riven Single Banner

Meddler Final PortraitThose are currently on hold while the Live Gameplay team’s focused on preseason work. We’ll probably look at Riven against once that stuff’s out, unclear whether those specific changes are what we’d want to go with yet or not though. In the meantime we’re shipping a small nerf to Riven’s ult CD to take a bit of power off her.

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If you were to nerf Tahm Kench could you just revert some of the buffs he got

Tahm Kench Single banner

Meddler Final PortraitIf we were to nerf Tahm where we did so would depend on where he’s too strong. If that’s something we’ve recently buffed, then certainly, reverting a recent buff would make sense (e.g. if enemy Devour’s now too strong reducing the regurgitate range back down could be a good fit). On the other hand if the issue’s elsewhere reverting a recent buff might not hit the right issue (e.g. if his healing’s too strong nerfing devour range isn’t an appropriately targeted fix).

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Will the Marksman update be part of the Preseason changes

Meddler Final PortraitYes, Marksmen changes will be in the preseason. We haven’t decided yet which class we might tackle after that (enchanters also isn’t a name or clearly defined subclass we’ve got a consensus on, though it is a term some people have been using internally to describe caster supports like Janna or Nami).

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Wont Voice Chat solve ingame toxicity People dont say the things they type


Lyte Final PortraitIronically, I just answered a question about voice chat on Ask.fm, which is here:

QUESTION: Are you trying to make the game full PG? (Like even below PG-13) Couse it looks like you are trying to completely remove toxicity when there will always be people that act ughh… silly.Couse for example, voice chat would help immensly but your toxicity “excuse” ruins that idea…

League is a hardcore game, and it’s played by many adults so no, we’re not trying to make it a PG-13 game. In fact, we’re not against offensive language per se. For example, saying “Fuck I missed that skillshot” or “Fuck, that was a bad engage, sorry” is completely fine and is not punished. You’re only punished when you start focusing your language against someone else, for example, “Fuck you asshole, wtf was that play. Uninstll plz.” Of course, hate speech, death threats and more severe language is not OK in any context, and that stuff will be punished with pretty much zero tolerance.

With regards to voice chat, we’re not opposed to voice chat. A lot of research suggests that voice chat between friends is an awesome experience, but voice chat with strangers is more hit and miss. These are known problems with voice chat and these issues exist in every game. If we do voice chat, we’d like to try some new features to tackle these problems but right now, all our development teams are focused on other priorities.

To the OP though, there’s a huge difference between 3rd party voice chat and integrated voice chat. Players that already have a voice chat solution installed, and are willing to add a stranger to their personal voice chat friends list and voice chat in a game are a very different, self-selected population compared to the general playerbase. In many cases, you could say these players are more likely to want to voice chat with others and very few people would do this purposely to yell at someone or be toxic to someone. If we had integrated voice chat, it would be available for everyone in the game, which has very different player behaviors.

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The Risks of MMR Boosting

Rhojin New PortraitHey Everyone,

A couple months back I made a post regarding MMR Boosting punishments and the updated investigation and identification methods we created for the 2015 Season. Today I wanted to talk about something else in regard to MMR Boosting, the security of your account. By now I’m sure you are all aware of the announcement of the 2015 Ranked Season Rewards; and after seeing what waits for those who reached Gold or higher we have seen a large increase in the number of players receiving MMR Boosts. While it may be tempting to pay for a boost or getting your friend/family member to play a couple games to boost your rank up, there are some serious risks involved in receiving a MMR Boost.

First and foremost, you will receive a MMR Boosting punishment. Your account will be suspended for two weeks, any ranked rewards you may have earned in the past will be stripped from your account and you will be ineligible to receive the 2015 rewards. Now this isn’t an “IF” your account is caught this is a when your account is caught. No matter how elite a booster may claim their methods are, there is no hiding from us.

On top of the punishment looming over a boosted account, the security of the account could also be at risk. Far too many times have we seen players share their information with people offering to boost their account, only to have that person then run off with the account and either sell it to another party or use it for other nefarious means. There are boosters who will boost an account and then report it directly to us for whatever reason they may have. And then there are those who set up sting operations, offer to boost someone and report every player to us who says yes, and they aren’t even contracted through us to do something like this. This is something they do out of their own free will to ensure boosters are removed from the community they love.

But even after being boosted there is no guarantee that an account will remain in the ranking it was boosted to. Throughout the 2015 Season we have seen 35% of boosted accounts drop back down to the ranking they were at before being boosted or lower. So not only is there the MMR Boosting punishment being issued to an account, the numbers show you may drop back down in rank and expose your account information to unnecessary risk.

I will be checking this post throughout the day to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

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Will the system punish me if Ive played from different locations

Rhojin New PortraitYou shouldn’t have anything to worry about. We know players travel all the time and play from location other than home. When we investigate accounts we make sure to take this into consideration. The last thing we want to do is punish someone because they wanted to enjoy a couple League games while they were on vacation or visiting friends.

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Does this include friends carrying others through Ranked

Rhojin New PortraitNah, you’re cool. Duoing with a friend is something we allow, even if they were the one doing the carrying. As long as you played on your own account you have nothing to worry about.

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Rhojin New PortraitAs long as both players are on their own accounts it is not considered to be boosting. Though chances are a challenger player is not going to have a legitimate smurf account that can duo with a bronze player but by some chance they have a legitimate smurf able to duo with a bronze friend it is not punishable in regard to boosting.

Now if the challenger player intentionally lost games to have a lower ranked account in order to stomp lower ranked players or to duo with friends, then the account would be open to another form of punishment.

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Are you guys sure youre able to catch every booster

Rhojin New PortraitWe are working around the clock on MMR Boosting investigations and we still have a large list of people who are set to be punished for their boosting participation this season. While nothing anywhere is perfect there is a very slim chance someone may get lucky now to avoid detection, but sooner or later their time will come. Also if you feel you have information pertaining to someone who had their account boosted you are more than welcome to send a report to us through the support site. We appreciate these types or reports as it does help us ensure we can identify those who have received MMR Boosts.

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Can a player be punished as a result of a false report

Rhojin New PortraitWe never punish anyone based simply because a report was sent in. When any reports are sent in to us we begin an investigation into the reports player, gathering our own information and comparing it to what the reporting player may have sent to us. Only when we are 100% sure that the reported player is guilty will we ever issue a punishment. There are times when players have been reported to me for being boosted and it turned out that the account wasn’t boosted, rather they just had a bad losing streak in their Diamond ranking.

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You made it to the end! Here’s some fan-art to wrap up the red posts for Saturday:

 

Lux by Raikoart

KWRjNzO

 


Haunted Zyra by dotswap

tumblr_nwj5zdbUEV1rgdio9o1_1280

 

 

Female Thresh by Gumae

8k3qhPI



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

 

QA with Lyte Banner

This is a work-in-progress post. I’ll continue to add answers here.

 

Lyte Final PortraitHey everyone,

We recently launched a set of features in the 5.18 patch that upgraded the Instant Feedback System. You can read more about the design of these features in a blog by Neurocat here:http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/gameplay-balance/Boqd81O0-upcoming-upgrades-to-chat-restrictions

1) We introduced Intentional Feeder Detection to the Instant Feedback System for the first time, and now intentional feeders can be banned within 15 minutes of matches. We’ve started the settings relatively conservative to start because figuring out whether a player is intentionally feeding or just having a bad game is a tough problem, so we’re not catching ALLintentional feeders today.

2) We introduced Reform Cards in the client, and for Chat Restrictions for the first time. Reform Cards are basically summaries that show evidence for behaviors that led to your ban, whether it’s match histories for Intentional Feeders, or chat logs for Restrictions/Bans.

3) We introduced a new version of the penalty escalation system. Now, punishments in League of Legends work like this:

  • First Offense: 10 Chat Restrictions
  • Second Offense: 25 Chat Restrictions
  • Third Offense: 14-Day Ban
  • Fourth Offense: Permanent Ban

However, if a player is showing more severe behaviors, it is possible to be escalated straight to the 3rd Offense Tier, and immediately get a 14-day ban for your first offense. This also means that if you get another offense after that (even if it’s a less severe behavior!) you will be escalated to a permanent ban. By showing neutral or positive behaviors, it is possible to improve your account standing and drop punishment tiers as well.


So what are we doing here? Well, because player behavior systems have changed A LOT over the years, there’s a lot of questions about what’s current, what’s coming in the future and what’s no longer true for player behavior systems in League. We’re also getting questions to review chat logs for players who believe their punishments are undeserved. Neurocat and I will be happy to answer any questions about player behavior in this thread, so let’s get started!

IMPORTANT CAVEAT: If you ask a question related to your penalty (Restriction/Ban), you will be consenting to us discussing your chat logs or in-game data publicly. Please use Player Support tickets if you wish to have your questions answered privately.

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Have you ever had to talk to a Rioter for being toxic ingame

Lyte Final PortraitYes. Sometimes Rioters have bad days too, and go a bit off rails. We take it pretty seriously though, so there haven’t been many cases.

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When reviewing a report do you guys see the rest of chat as well

Lyte Final PortraitThe Tribunal voting system will have full chat logs with scrubbed identifying info.

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Follow Up Banner

Lyte Final PortraitYes, we can check chat logs from pre-game and post-game lobbies.

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Is it wrong that I vent by reporting bad teammates for being unskilled

Lyte Final PortraitWe’re in the process of re-making the Report System and cleaning up the report categories, so apologies for some of the jankiness in the current system. But, reporting for Unskilled Player does not affect your report weights, and the report is never used to directly punish or ban a player. However, Unskilled Player reports are used by the matchmaking system to tune the system and help us figure out weird cases where a player was accidentally propelled to an inappropriate skill level.

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Will you let players vent in some way without taking it out on other players

Lyte Final PortraitWe definitely understand the need to “vent” and how filing a Report helps resolve some of the frustration of playing in that particular game. We have some elements of the new system that help players understand more about where their reports are going and their impact, to help players feel better about what just happened.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Have you considered punishing toxic players by lowering how much IP they earn

Lyte Final PortraitNot exactly, but we’re considering bonuses to IP for positive players. This is part of a feature in the new Tribunal voting system that we’ll talk more about in the future.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

How well has your Intentional Feeder Detection system been working so far

Lyte Final PortraitThe intentional feeder detection system is tuned pretty conservatively right now, so it’s just catching the more egregious intentional feeders. Not surprisingly, there aren’t many true intentional feeders in League anymore like the ones that buy 5 Zeals and just run down mid over and over. Sure, some players find examples and post them on Reddit, but you only see a dozen or so of these in a game with 67+ million players playing games nearly everyday.

The system isn’t tuned yet to perfectly catch the more nuanced feeders, who play normal 80% of the game, then suddenly walk into towers or run away from a team fight on purpose. These more nuanced behaviors will require more research and advanced machine learning to tease apart, and are being punished by Rioter manual reviews today.

[ Link to Post ]

 


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

 

INSTANT FEEDBACK POWERS UP Banner

Lyte’s new system which lets players immediately know if their reports have made a difference, is now live:

 

Lyte Final PortraitA few months back we launched instant feedback bans, an automated system delivering two week and permanent bans for verbal toxicity within 15 minutes of a game’s end. Instant feedback hits two player behavior design values, both punishing negative players and helping them reform their behavior.

Now, we’re bolting a few new cylinders onto the instant feedback engine. Fueled by your reports on what is and isn’t acceptable behavior (and some elbow grease on our end), chat/ranked restrictions and intentional feeding bans are now delivered and enforced within 15 minutes of a game’s end. Beyond those upgrades, we’re moving reform cards into the client and rounding out the design value trinity by rewarding positive players with an exclusive summoner icon.

 

INCLIENT REFORM CARDS

Until now, reform cards were sent via email to offending players. Now they’ll appear in-client, delivering context on the punishment and displaying the chat log that triggered the punishment. Pushing reform cards into the client ensures players receive the information they need to understand the punishment and change their behavior for the better. Since the vast majority of you won’t ever receive a reform card, here’s what one looks like:

 

CHAT AND RANKED RESTRICTIONS

Instant feedback began with two-week and permanent bans because the negative behaviors spurring them (homophobia, racism, sexism, death threats, and excessive verbal abuse) are both overwhelmingly rejected by the community and hard to mistake. After crunching several million games worth of data over the last few months, the instant feedback system’s now ready to help reform more mild, but persistent negative behaviors with chat and ranked restrictions. Beyond the extra horsepower, we’re re-tuning restrictions to better encourage reform. Learn more about that effort over on boards.

 

INTENTION FEEDING BANS

Intentional feeders ruin games, so the behavior nets offending players two-week bans, and can escalate to permanent bans if the behavior continues. Through a ton of in-game metrics, chat logs, and even historical play patterns, we ensured the system understands the difference between intentional feeding and being crushed by a Riven main in solo queue. You shouldn’t need to worry about just having a bad game.

Like with all new feature launches, the whole player behavior team will hand-review the first few thousand cases to make sure everything’s working right.

 

POSITIVE PLAYERS UNLOCK EXCLUSIVE ICONS

To celebrate positive play, every player who hasn’t been chat/ranked restricted or banned over the last three months will unlock an exclusive summoner icon. You can expect that to land in your account by 5.19.

We’ll hang around the comments to answer any questions!

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

 

Red Posts 20 07 Banner

 

Topics Banner

 

Recent News Banner

PBE-Roundup-Patch-5-14-Banner

August-Sales-Banner (1)

 

 

Darius Gameplay Update Soon Banner

Darius will be receiving a minor gameplay update and potentially some unique new mechanics.

 

Can we have an update on Darius

Scruffy Final PortraitWe’ve actually come back around to the work that started 2 years ago and will have something to show very soon. Statikk picked up the darius project after he finished working on Gangplank, and it turns out we can make a lot of improvements for him without too many dramatic changes.

When it’s all done, he should have a more healthy + satisfying + some new unique stuff in his kit.

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I hope the ult stays the same

Scruffy Final PortraitAgreed, its pretty damn cool to just chop your enemies in half.

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Will he be getting a shield and a dash

Scruffy Final PortraitNo dash or shield sry.

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Update on Morde Rework Soon Banner

Mordekaiser is still slated for a rework and the team is currently debating on how to solve his mobility issues.

 

Any plans to make Mordekaiser viable

Meddler Final PortraitWe’re testing some really experimental changes for him at the moment that involve making it much more dangerous to be directly next to him. We have talked a lot about whether Morde should have some CC or more mobility. We concluded however that his lack of those tools was pretty definitional to his playstyle and an opportunity to potentially give him some effects we wouldn’t be able to do on a more mobile champion (in the same way that Nasus for example’s only allowed to have his stacking Q because he has trouble getting onto the targets he really wants).

Time wise within a month or two we should either be ready to talk about those changes in detail or be ready to say they didn’t work out and we’ve scrapped them. Worth noting that if we do them they’ll be very gameplay driven, so would only include visual changes as needed to support ability modifications. We would love to give Morde a visual upgrade in general, but have other champs that are before him in line for full overhauls.

[ Link to Post ]

 


Can you tell us more about what Mordes identity will be post rework

Meddler Final PortraitWhat we’re currently testing is a more bruiser ish version of Morde, that builds somewhat tankier and doesn’t have as much front loaded damage. In playtests so far he’s still been able to put out quite a lot of damage in a short time frame, but he’s had to ramp up to it a bit first.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Will you be making changes to his ultimate

Meddler Final PortraitMorde’s Ult will likely remain very similar to its current form.

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When you last made changes to Morde you said hed be more of a bruiser

Meddler Final PortraitWe did have a go at a similar approach when we were removing DFG. At that time however we only had a very brief period (one patch’s worth of development) to investigate and test changes. That wasn’t enough time to fix the issues we saw come up, or even investigate a decent range of approaches. We weren’t confident in the results of that work as a result, so ended up pulling almost all of it. This time we’re putting a solid amount of time aside for both experimentation and testing, so feel it’s worth taking another swing at that direction.

[ Link to Post ]

 


How will the new Morde deal with being kited

Scruffy Final PortraitBeing an immobile melee with no CC does mean that you do get kited by champs like ashe or kallista. There’s two ways that we’ve thought about how Morde will be able to handle those types of champs/situations:

  1. More baseline defense – Morde right now relies almost entirely on dealing damage to stay tanky, which makes him even more dead when he cant get to target. We’re trying to bring up his reliable/baseline tankiness so that he can function better when he’s not winning already.
  2. Ally CC – This may sound like a bit of a cheesy answer but we really want Morde to be that much of a thread that allies and enemies will dread getting caught in CC when he’s nearby. If Nami lands that bubble, it’s go time for Morde.

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Follow Up Banner

Do you mean Morde will have to rely on others to deal with mobility

Scruffy Final PortraitIt’s more like if I was talking about Janna (who has a lot of CC and very little damage) I would say that she is very good with ally damage. On the food chain of League of Legends, Morde will not bring the CC himself, but he does bring the damage. That will naturally pair well with allies that bring CC.

The end result wont be any farther on the “need my team to carry me” scale than amumu, janna, jinx etc.

[ Link to Post ]



Are you thinking of making Morde somewhat more like Darius

Scruffy Final PortraitCloser to that sort of space yeah. We’ve got some ideas on how to reduce the ‘what do I do if I’m melee against this guy’ problem, we’ll see how they work out though.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 


Will Morde receive a visual update with his gameplay changes

Scruffy Final PortraitThis time around he wont be getting the full shabang (like sion or GP) but he will be getting some small visual love to represent some of the new gameplay that he’s getting. Overall it’ll be mostly upgraded spell VFX.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

UPCOMING CHANGES TO PROMO MATCHES

 

How about removing promo series for divisions weve already reached

Riot Mirross Final PortraitThese ideas are good. We’re looking at making some changes like this at the end of this season. We’d like to reduce ambiguity around when demotion shortly after you’re promoted, as well as the pain points when you’re climbing back to a division you’ve already reached.

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Have you considered giving us a free win in promo series we’ve failed before

Riot Mirross Final PortraitYes. We decided not to make any mid-season changes, but this is something we’re planning to do.

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Wont these changes make it easier to climb and harder to fall back down

Riot Mirross Final PortraitActually changes like this aren’t going to increase the number of people in any tier overall. It’s a zero-sum game.

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Mastery Emotes Visible to Enemis Banner

Mastery Emotes will soon be visible to enemies, although they’ll still have an internal cooldown and will be affected by muting.

 

Werent Mastery Emotes supposed to be visible to enemies 3 patches ago

Riot Mirross Final PortraitWe’re are going to change this soon (not next patch, that’s already locked, probably one after) – it was mistakenly in a patch note, which caused the confusion.

We’re going to slightly increase the cooldown and make it respect muting before we make that change though.

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Socrates New PortraitHey dudes. The patch note for this went out early. Our bad.

When we tested this on pbe it could get a little spammy when abused. We decided to increase the cool down before going live with it. It will be appearing in one of the coming patch cycles.

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How about rewarding us with 500 1000 IP for achieving level 5 Mastery

Socrates New PortraitWe agree the rewards are probably too light atm for these achievements. We think we can do better than ip. Can’t share too much on this yet but it is something we are looking at.

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Team Builder Draft Vote Kick in Champion Select Banner

Lyte expands on the upcoming Team Builder Draft mode and answers community questions for why a vote feature to kick/leave Champion Select is still absent.

 

Team Builder is underrated

Lyte Final PortraitWe’ll be the first to admit that Team Builder “Classic” solves a lot of problems, but also has a few major issues that we’ve solved in the new Team Builder Draft experience. For context, Team Builder “Classic,” reduced reports by about 26%, increased honors by about 18%, and reduced negative/toxic chat by about 36% in wins, and 23% in losses. It also reduced leavers/AFKs by about 8-10%, I don’t remember that one off top of my head.

One of our primary goals in Team Builder Draft is to retain some of the benefits above in the design of the system, but invest heavily in solving the queue time issues and improving the matchmaking quality. We’ve also invested in the actual UI work so that it’s much faster to setup your team, play with friends and get into the game.

So far in testing where we bring players into Riot HQ to test Team Builder Draft, we’ve seen the vast majority of players prefer the experience over every other queue experience. So for now, we’re not going to encourage players to funnel into Team Builder “Classic,” and we’re going to see if Team Builder Draft is popular enough that it becomes the dominant Champion Select experience.

Happy to answer questions about Team Builder Draft in this thread.

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Whatre your thoughts on a votekick leave system for Champion Select

Lyte Final PortraitWe played around with a few “Vote Kick” designs before, and the results were surprising. First, let’s assume the design is a simple: players in Champion Select can vote to kick a player, and you need 4 out of 5 votes to proceed.

Immediately, we saw the behaviors change in Champion Select. One, players began using the “Vote Kick” feature when they didn’t like a particular team comp, when they felt like the Captain didn’t ban the appropriate champions, when players played off-meta champions, and sometimes when they felt the opposing team comp was better than theirs. This dramatically increases the amount of time it takes to get through a Champion Select and into the game as many Champion Selects fail out and you have to start over, and then players will complain about it taking 15-20 minutes to actually get through a Champion Select and load into a match. Now to play one game, you need anywhere from 1 hour to 1.5 hours of free time, which was way too high of a time commitment. Secondly, some scenarios with Duo Queues became even more frustrating, because if a Duo Queue group was being negative in Champion Select you still had nothing you could do to resolve it, and the situations felt even worse than before.

Some additional designs would be to give every player only 1 “Vote Kick” per day, but just giving 1 vote to every player increased failed Champion Selects by ~20%, which means that you’re now going through multiple Champion Selects just to get into a game. We also reduced the penalty for queue dodging before, which would make it “less painful” for players to queue dodge if they absolutely had to, but this increased failed Champion Selects by about ~30%, and again players started complaining about failed Champion Selects and taking too long to get into a game.

We think that Team Builder Draft will ultimately solve Champion Select issues better than most other features or systems, so we decided to work on that system first because it also solves a bunch of other problem spaces such as better retention and onboarding for low level players and giving players more control over their Champion Select experience. If Team Builder Draft does not improve Champion Select enough, we have some ideas ready to go such as allowing players to report when someone doesn’t play the position they specified, or allowing players to give us a reason (and specify a player) if they choose to queue dodge.

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Can we have an ETA on Team Builder Draft

Lyte Final PortraitIt’s a major change to the pre-game flow, and a brand new Champion Select, so we want to avoid this big of a disruption in the 2015 Season. We didn’t start too long ago, while we were researching and learning from lessons in Team Builder Classic we were working on a slew of features like Party Rewards (for events like the Pool Party), Suggested Players, LeaverBuster, the machine learning Tribunal and Instant Feedback System and the new Intentional Feeder detection that’s going out in the next patch or two.

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How will Riot encourage players to use the Team Builder

Lyte Final PortraitIf the live beta test goes well (and is similar to our lab tests where we bring players into Riot HQ to try out Team Builder Draft), it might be an option to replace some queues which will funnel players into the new experience. However, in the system itself we’ve introduced the “Fill” position which helps reduce queue times, and we’re requiring players select 2 positions (instead of 1) which also reduces queue times. If we have to, we’re also going to incentivize the high demand positions so you get a small bonus for playing them. We think these 3 things combined should solve the queue time issues nicely.

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Will there be the option to queue for every role in Team Builder

Lyte Final PortraitYou can queue up as “Fill,” which basically covers all positions. It’s a new position we’re introducing with Team Builder Draft.

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Context for Yorick Rework Delay Banner

Yorick’s rework is still a long ways off… you can bury your hopes again.

 

Why isnt Yorick a top priority for the rework

Scruffy Final PortraitI feel you on this, and agree that he is in dire need of an update. That said, we want to take the time to do him right and he is in early stages of gameplay design, concepting, and lore work.

Don’t expect him to come out before Poppy/Taric (both are much farther along), but do know that we are working on him and we are not gonna put it down until we finish. Yorick can be soooo much more than he is and I hope that you will like the results when he’s finally rebuilt from the ground up.

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Scruffy Final PortraitAfter Xelnath stopped working on yorick we didn’t end up picking it back up until very recently (march ish if I remember correctly, ah you linked it too). We definitely used some of his work as a starting point and have continued iterating from there.

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Details on Poppys Visual Update Banner

Poppy’s visual update won’t so much cater to seasoned Poppy players as it will draw in newcomers to the Champion.

 

What can you tell us about Poppys upcoming visual update

IronStylus Final PortraitWell, so good news and bad news:

Good news: Poppy will get a visual update. She’s in the same camp as Sion, Taric, Urgot, etc which will recieve complete overhauls which will not only increase fidelity and introduce a newer and cleaner design, but also will aid in clarify and mechanical expression. We did a lot exploration on Poppy and are happy with what we’ve got. She’s currently in the art production pipeline as her kit has been locked for some time. Now it’s a matter of time and the technical work of getting that new character to live in game.

“Bad” news: Poppy is shipping with a complete kit overhaul which will retain the spirit of Poppy, and utilize some signature abilities, but will probably vary pretty significantly than current Poppy. Think of the same way which we wanted to retain the “feeling” of Sion while keeping virtually nothing of his existing kit. I’e played her, and she’s really, really fun. I think players old and new will find a home with her. I think that’s what’s going to bring her into a place where she’ll be loved by passionate players but also new players alike.

So shipping the visual update probably isn’t going to turn people onto existing, present-day Poppy as much as it will excite people to try what is fundamentally a brand new character which takes what we love about Poppy, amplifies it, and makes her more cohesive. Our goal on ChampUP is to excite enthusiasts, to get at what the real and visceral emotional attachments that bind them to a character and hone them, making that feeling more clear, maybe even stronger. Often that means pretty substantial change, for multiple reasons. Unique identity, clear role and play pattern, character/kit/art cohesion, among other things. A sub-goal is to bring that character up so at the very least new players are aware of the character and can approach it comfortably. To bring that champion back into some rotation even if it’s with a smaller but dedicated slice of players.

The team is very excited about Poppy. I’m happy to have been part of her development and can’t wait for people to get a hold of this take on her. Though things change, the spirit is there I feel.

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Are there any upcoming champion changes that don’t involve VUs

IronStylus Final PortraitThere is a kit change in the works for Shen, with that comes our investigation as to how much visual changes (model, animation, VFX, etc) have to go towards facilitating the gameplay overhaul. We always ask the question about scope. How much scope does this need, and how much do we want it to have? We currently are exploring ideas for a new base design for Shen, but this for the moment remains an exploration. It might be beyond scope lets say to redesign his base. But, if we deem it a substantial opportunity, or something that really needs more art resources to make the new mechanics work, then we’ll scope the project up.

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Fanmade Skin Ideas Banner

 

Even if Riot pick up a fan idea for a skin they wont spoil the surprise

Kindlejack Final PortraitPretty much what I was going to say.

However I can give you more context on how we go about choosing what projects to work on. When we have a meeting to ideate on thematics and champions for skins we always bring up relevant fan concepts and take note of how much player support they have garnered. We never just say ‘This concept got 8k upvotes so let’s make it’ but if an idea is popular it will at least be considered in the spread or used as a starting point for a design. I would say skins team (with people like Whist, Galetta, Nurse Flan and KateyKhaos to name a few) keeps a close eye on fan concepts, not just on the boards but also on the Chinese/Korean/Garena sites. Riot Penguin also takes player requests on the weekends just for fun, but they are often pretty great ideas (Armoured Annie plz).

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Follow Up Banner

Is this your approach for fanmade champion concepts

Kindlejack Final PortraitNo, skins are additive in that we can create one knowing that there will be more in the future. Champions are absolute, once they launch then that’s it. The champion team spend a lot longer crafting a champion and it’s a collaborative effort between art, gameplay and narrative. I’m not on that team though so I can’t give you as much insight.

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Whatre your thoughts on the fan idea for a Firedancer Draven skin

Kindlejack Final PortraitI brought it up when we were working on Pool Party Draven. It was decided that Gladiator Draven already had fire particles and ‘Firedancer’ didn’t fit enough into the ‘Pool Party’ theme. I’ll bring it up again next time there is Draven ideation because I still think it’d be a great fit for him.

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Do limited time skins ever come back

KateyKhaos Final PortraitHiya!

We have both limited and legacy skins.

Legacy skins will periodically come back to the store. Examples of these are Kitty Kat Katarina, or Poro Rider Sejuani. Limited skins are removed once the event is over, and there is no guarantee they’ll return to the store/be made available again. These would include skins such as Rusty Blitzcrank, Championship Riven and Victorious skins (Jarvan, Janna, Elise, Morgana).

You can find the full list of both legacy and limited skins here.

[ Link to Post ]



Hippalus mentioned that Championship Riven may return to the store

KateyKhaos Final PortraitYup! Hippalus did say there’s a possibility. :]

“Yes I think Championship Riven will come back someday. Most limited edition skins took four years to come back after release, and it’s been two years for Riven so far.”

As far as I know, the statement still stands.

[ Link to Post ]

 


Are World Championship skins classified as Legacy or Limited

KateyKhaos Final PortraitSure! Championship Thresh and Shyvana are legacy, as well as the commemorative Championship team skins, such as SKT, SSW, etc.

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Will we be able to get skins like Silver Kayle or Black Alistar eventually

KateyKhaos Final PortraitHiya!

We deactivated the older skin codes to due 3rd party sites scamming players, claiming they could buy rare skins like PAX TF, when in fact, they were given fake codes, or codes that had already been used.

We informed players in advance that we were doing this, so if they had codes hanging around, they had the opportunity to redeem them before the codes were deactivated. you can check out more information about why we decided to deactivate the codes here.

I agree with Chat97 that there is some uniqueness to having a skin from beta, or even Victorious skins from previous seasons, and selling them now would leave bad sentiments to those who earned them during x event.

I understand the frustration that arises, especially if you’ve joined the game, and don’t have the opportunity to buy/use these skins, however, at this time, we do not have plans to make these rare skins (Silver Kayle, PAX skins, etc.) available for distribution/purchase.

[ Link to Post ]


Fan Art Tristana by Meltedjujubees

You can check out more of Meltedjujubees‘s work HERE.

tristanerrr_by_meltedjujubees-d91vap0

 

 

Fan Art - Riven by Songoanda

You can find the rest of Songoanda‘s work HERE.

riven_by_songoanda-d8ni88w

 


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

 

Red Posts 19 06 Banner

 

Table of Contents

 

Recent News

Champion-Leak-Banner

Red-Posts-18-06-Banner1

 

 

Wont these changes force players to rush Deathcap early

[ Note ] Xypherous recently posted a changelist for every core AP item (the post also includes a lot more questions and answers on the topic).

Xypherous Final PortraitRushing a DCap is actually less efficient in this world – AP per AP. While the 5% increase is nice – the overall net AP you’re getting from the item, compared to price is lower. While each slot offers less overall AP (Zhonya’s and Ludens, for example) – they’re also slightly cheaper – So if you used to primarily start Zhonya’s – you would use the leftover gold to get a head start on the next item.

Eventually, Death Cap will be the highest AP for the buck – but along the path up to Deathcap – you should have similar AP / Point of Gold comparison – and you’ll be somewhat higher along the way if you ever incorporated Liandry’s / Void Staff / Nashor’s Tooth / AAA / RoA in any of your builds.

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I think these AP item changes couldve been more radical

Xypherous Final PortraitThere’s definitely more we can do on this front from a component / gold and items standpoint but this is a fairly light pass as I didn’t really want to disrupt the ecosystem too much. There’s a particularly set build that I want to break on the high AP triplet.

Then again, this also buffs every non Manareg, Boots, High AP triplet, Void Staff build – so at the very least, alternative playstyles aren’t so far behind the curve as the primary one.

However, before I go farther in this direction – I do want to validate some of my hypothesis in that it’s the right direction before planning more sweeping changes.

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Is it still possible to see a Darius rework this year

Meddler Final PortraitIt’s likely, though not guaranteed, that we’ll do some more work on Darius sometime this year. Odds are that’ll involve making him less of a lane bully, but giving him a better late game presence. Something else we’d also like to get to, and might bundle with that work, are some adjustments to fighter itemization, both in terms of a new item or two and some revisions to existing items.

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How do you plan on making Darius less of a lane bully

Meddler Final PortraitDisclaimer: This is far from set in stone. At a guess though, I’d expect him to still be a fairly dangerous laner, but not to the current ‘dominate you completely in lane otherwise he’s failed’ extent. Scope wise probably smaller than Ashe. Something along the lines of changes to the effects on some skills, but not complete replacement of anything.

And, just to keep expectations appropriate, this wouldn’t be just a bunch of buffs. We do want to get Darius to a spot where he can better contribute in team fights, whether through kit changes or better itemization. We also want to fix some of the laning problems he creates though, where some opponents are left without options apart from ‘lose a lot of farm or get heaps of jungler help’.

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The Pool Party event is currently at around 13875 million points

Hippalus Final PortraitHey OP, I appreciate the thought you’re putting into this. We aren’t looking at how this plays out as a black or white “failure” or “success”. We see this as dipping our toe in the water to explore if community reward events is something we want to do on a bigger scale in the future, and to understand what aspects are most important to players so we can make sure to get them right if/when we decide to go big. Some of the feedback so far has been helpful, some has been flat out incorrect, but we’ll take it all in and decide where to go next with community rewards. Here’s what I posted yesterday with some more detail…

Just wanted to hop in here and say that we’re still learning about these kinds of promotions and definitely want to know where we can improve. Our goal here was to create an event that would give the community a reason to play with friends and give everyone an opportunity to earn some cool rewards together. While we’ve obviously included ways to fund these rewards (gifting), we wanted to make sure we included ways for players who don’t want to spend any money to participate.

Earlier this year we ran Ocean Week in the Oceania region and players there BLEW through the goal way faster than expected. When we designed Team Up and Pool Party, we wanted to give the community a genuine challenge rather than a softball. The last couple levels are definitely stretch goals, intentionally designed to be tough to reach, but if it feels like this, then we didn’t get it right.

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BuboBubo New PortraitNice work! For future events we’re going to try and to a better job at recognizing players who go above and beyond.

Overall, this has been a huge learning experience for us. The parts we really like and want to do more of are giving the community a reason to come together and earn cool rewards. There is also a long list of things we want to do better next time around.

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Is there any reason not to ever reward players for solo queuing

Hippalus Final PortraitFair question. All of our research shows that on average players have more fun when they queue with friends so we’re trying to provide more reasons to make the effort to coordinate a game together. But we do realize that not everyone enjoys it as much, so that’s why you only have to win once to participate in the rewards. Maybe next time we can come up with more ways to contribute that appeal to players like you. Thanks for the feedback.

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[ Note ] You can check out the official teaser HERE.

 

 

DanielzKlein Final PortraitCan confirm that I’m the champion designer on whatever this thing is that’s coming downriver toward us.

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How many passives will the new Champion have

DanielzKlein Final Portrait3.

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What about true damage and knockups

DanielzKlein Final Portrait0 knock-ups, no true damage, no execute.

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Will all his abilities slow enemies

DanielzKlein Final PortraitYou’re so far off, friend.

Except for the Q slow. That’s spot on.

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Turrets are already weak so why are they being nerfed on the PBE

[ Note ] The Nexus / Inhibitor turrets were nerfed in this PBE update.

Meddler Final PortraitWe originally added the slow (and a -damage mod) to the Nexus/Inihb towers as an anti split pushing effect, at a time where we were concerned that split push was leading to low interaction games. That’s currently not the case however, very much the opposite in fact, with heavy team fight comps crowding out split push almost entirely. We’re not looking to make split pushing a staple of every game, but do think we’ve limited it too much, hence the removal of those effects.

In terms of the broader purpose of towers it is intended that the risk they pose to enemy champions decreases over the course of the game. Early on they’re zones of sanctuary, where it’s extremely risky to try and go in for a kill much of the time. Over time they transition to a helper role instead. Towers will turn the tide of a close fight, but they’re not going to be more dangerous than an enemy champion anymore. Late game in particular, once everyone’s past the individual laning period, it’s the presence of teammates instead that provides substantial zones of safety/support. Powerful late game towers, particularly if they can be held by a couple of champions against a full enemy team, result in slower, drawn out, low risk/interaction games.

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How long until the new Tribunal goes live

Lyte Final PortraitIt’s been about 8 months; however, a lot of the new foundation and skeleton is in place. The new Reform System has a machine-learning based engine backing it, and already hands out bans and Reform Cards in e-mails automatically within 5-15 minutes of the behavior occurring. We’re going to be adding in Intentional Feeder Detection and Elo Boosting soon too and rolling it out to the rest of the servers… so technically there’s already stuff that’s “live” that the old Tribunal did.

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Follow Up

Lyte Final PortraitOur current focus is Team Builder Draft, but we have a couple milestones for the new Reform System that we’d like to get out this year including real-time Intentional Feeder Detection, Elo Boosting Detection, and Tribunal Voting. There’s a couple other things we’d love to squeeze into this year’s package of features, but more details later.

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

 

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Summary

A short teaser has been released across League Facebook walls, featuring shaking mana potions and… that’s the full extent, really. In other news, Lyte mentioned a position-based Team Builder Draft in the works; on the forums, we’ve confirmation that promo matches are being looked into and that inactivity warnings will be getting much more frequent. Also, the lore team came out of their dark and mysterious shelter to address how League’s narrative will be handled in the future.

 

Recent News

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Note that this teaser is probably not alluding to Gangplank’s rework.
 

 
Here’s a screenshot of the full table, taken from a larger version of this video posted on other League Facebook walls:

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Here are links to the walls in different languages:

 


What is Riot doing to control trolls in Champion Select

Lyte Final PortraitWe’ve been working on Team Builder Draft, which is position-based (so you don’t have to pick a champion first), that should solve many Champion Select problems.

We’re also focused on improving skill diversity and encouraging players to still master multiple positions while maintaining the drafting/counterpicking aspects of competitive League. We’ll talk more about Team Builder Draft’s design in the future.

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Changes to inactivity warnings Ranked decay

Mirross: Hey everyone,
We’re testing some changes to inactivity (decay) in the upper tiers of ranked play. Previously, you’d get a one-time notification as you approached the decay threshold, but now we’re dialing up the frequency of inactivity warnings to ensure the risk of decay stays front-of-mind. We just want to make sure players don’t simply forget to maintain the ranking they worked so hard for.

CHANGES:

Players in danger of ranked decay will receive inactivity warnings every time they log in until becoming active again. Previously this notification occurred just once.

MASTER & CHALLENGER SOLO: Decay starts after 10 days of inactivity, with warnings during the final 3 days
MASTER & CHALLENGER TEAM: Decay starts after 28 days of inactivity, with warnings during the final 9 days
PLAT & DIAMOND SOLO AND TEAM: Decay starts after 28 days of inactivity, with warnings during the final 9 days

Let me know your thoughts!

-Riot Mirross

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Why are Ranked inactivity notifications becoming so frequent

Socrates New PortraitWhen we first launched inactivity notifications we thought, ‘We probably shouldn’t make these too spammy’.

Then we decayed and realized we should probably make these more spammy.

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Will you be changing promo matches in the future

Socrates New PortraitWe are looking at promos as something we want to improve. We’ll likely be testing some of the described behaviors on pbe in the coming weeks.

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A day in the life of a Rioter

Meddler Final PortraitSure, happy to help.




TurtleMan878 (NA)2 days ago

  1. What are the typical hours you work?

A normal day for me tends to be something along the lines of get in between 10:00 and 10:30, stop working around 8:00 to 8:30. Those sort of hours are pretty common, though some people prefer an early start/early finish approach.

TurtleMan878 (NA)2 days ago

  1. What are the tasks you preform each day? (doesn’t need to be super specific)

My average day looks something like this:

  • Quick synch up meeting for the day with the rest of the team, where everyone runs through what they’re working on, focusing mainly on where they could do with some help, what they’d like to test and quickly covered topics relevant to the team (e.g. upcoming events, changes to the tools we work with etc)
  • Playtest – full game of SR, with a focus on testing new champions and significant reworks, followed by people getting together to discuss feedback and next steps in small groups.
  • Lunch, often including spillover conversation from the playtest.
  • An afternoon that’s a mixture of meetings (e.g. with the artists working on new champions, with the balance team to figure out our next steps for a just released champ, with engineers working on new tech etc) and solo project work (putting new spells together to test, fixing bugs, hooking up new visual effects etc).
  • Another playtest and feedback session.
  • More discussion with other developers or solo work, depending on what’s of most value at the time.

TurtleMan878 (NA)2 days ago

  1. What skills are required to preform the job you do?

Goal oriented analysis and problem solving, an understanding of what creates satisfying gameplay (mechanics especially), the ability to communicate well with people from a range of different disciplines (verbal and written), at least some thematic/creative understanding, some degree of scripting skill, at least a moderately broad game background.

TurtleMan878 (NA)2 days ago

  1. How did you get in to the field?

I was previously working as a transportation engineer, focused particularly on computer simulations of what the transport system of a city 10-50 years in the future might look like. At the same time I was playing LoL, and spotted a forum post from Riot’s head of design, Zileas, looking for design applicants. Figured I’d throw in an application, since one of the things specified was a preference for people from analytical/engineering fields and game development was a subject I’d always been interested in.

TurtleMan878 (NA)2 days ago

  1. Advice for people getting into the field?

Analyze games, make games, figure out what you want to do, be realistic:

  • Don’t just play a couple of games/genres you know you like. Play broadly, and figure out why different types of games appeal to different people, why the elements in a game function as they do (whether you agree or disagree with the choice), what you’d do differently etc.
  • Start developing skills before you try to get into the industry. You’ll learn a lot from trying to makes games/components of games that’s extremely valuable both in growing your own skills and showing you ability in an interview. Whether that’s modding, indie development, creating content using the various game making software out there, pen and paper design or whatever doing stuff makes you better at it (and gives you projects to show others).
  • Figure out what sort of game development you’re interested in and focus a fair bit of your learning on that. Do you want to create concept art for new characters? Build levels for an FPS? Write the story of an RPG? Create animations for a fighting game? Do sound design for an RTS? There are a wide range of different skillsets needed, depending on what sort of career you’re after, so figuring out what appeals to you and what you’ve got the potential to be good at’s really valuable.
  • Be realistic and don’t expect immediate success. Game development’s a popular industry, some parts of it especially, so there’s often a lot of competition for entry level positions. There are ways of improving your odds though if you want to take them, such as being willing to move to locations with lots of employers, putting a lot of time into personal development via your own projects, starting in a field you’re not as interested in to get a foot in the door etc.

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Whats the strategy of the narrative team

Jaredan Final PortraitStrategy: keep creating enthralling Champions and accompanying stories along with various other products. At the same time we are investing in various ways to make cool things in different media (wasn’t Chronobreak spiffy?), while we level up the Narrative discipline to help make sure that happens. That leveling up includes partnerships with various other disciplines as well as a new organisational structure and hiring more talented people to learn from and grow with.

For story, as well as continuing to develop products with Champion, Champion Update, Events, and beyond, we are reassessing every single champion bio for clarity, quality of expression, and direction. This takes time, but we think we have a format that players will like. The first examples of it will be seen alongside some other products that I can’t quite give a timeline on yet.

We want to do it as we want to deliver on our promises to players, because it enriches the LoL experience, and we love to do it.

Sorry I can’t be more specific, but I hope it gives you an idea of where we are at.

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Follow Up

Jaredan Final PortraitWhat we’re currently working on for League of Legends: five or six champions currently in various stages of production (no ship date promises), some champions up for a revisit, all voice over, a few fun promos, a story embedded event, and a bunch of other stuff that makes me tingly in my happy place (my happy place is in Liverpool, England). Each of those things is through a team of marvelous Rioters from various disciplines, and each product has a large variety of specific things that have to be created for it (we do a lot more than just the bio for a champ, for example).

As you said, I’m not going into specifics in case things don’t go to plan or, most often, because I don’t want to spoil some severely awesome things for you, the players, and for the Rioters who are helping to create them.

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FanMade Champion Select Screen

Lastly, here’s a fantastic concept by Eduardo Cabrera. You can find him on Twitter @lolinflames.

 

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Kindlejack Final PortraitNice! You don’t have to stick with the current layout though, I’m sure there’s a better option. Is there any way to show all the champions at once so there’s no need for a scroll bar? Or would that be too crazy. Is the technology there? I don’t know. Maybe when we all have oculus rifts you’ll be standing in a crowded room and have to push champions aside while frantically searching for the one you want to play. Or they’ll be floating heads surrounding you crying out ‘Pick me! Pick me! Or teeny mouse sized in a big fish tank and you pick out the one you want like goldfish. A dark abyss stands before you and you call out the champions name then play your flute-dagger like Green Ranger and it summons them from the void?

Looks really slick UI wise. I’d love to see alternate art of champions looking sad that shows up when they get banned >:P

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

 

 

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Summary

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

 

Recent News

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How do you want or expect this season to play out

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

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What do you mean by wanting strategic diversity

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

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How exactly do you plan on dealing with mobility creep

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

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Would you agree the jungle is currently overtuned

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

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

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

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

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

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How do you feel champion diversity relates to the LCS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I miss doing Tribunal work

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Being personally involved in cases feels rewarding

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Leaverbuster doesnt work leavers should be handled by the Tribunal

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

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

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

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Upcoming minor buff to Urgot

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

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

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

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

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 Why are Veigars changes locked for Patch 5 4

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

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Team Builder coming to Ranked Games

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

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Follow Up

Can you explain how the system will work for Ranked

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

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DJ Sona QA on February 24

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

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

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How to make Katarinas Daggers

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

 

 

 

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