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Posts Tagged ‘Morello’

 

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A few changes I missed between the recent PBE updates.

 

[ Reminder ] The PBE is a testing ground for changes. What you see here may not reflect what you see in Patch Notes. Remember that developers want your feedback so if you disagree with a change, you can always submit your thoughts on the PBE Community Forums.

 

Legend of the Poro King HUD

The recently-introduced game mode, “Legend of the Poro King”, has received a HUD update:

 


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Update to Dragon Buffs

The stacking Dragon buffs have received a few changes:

  • The bonus AD and AP from the Tier 1 buff has been decreased from 8% to 6%;
  • Tier 2 and Tier 4 buffs have swapped places.

 

Dragon Slayer Change

 

 

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New champions have mechanics that Riot has been against

Morello Final PortraitAdditionally, we said we’d never do a healer. Instead, “what will it take to do a healer” was the better question.

I’ll say it straight. You guys were right on some of this stuff and helped us understand our limitations we’d created. It’s a hard ship to turn, but I’m glad we are doing it.

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Meddler Final PortraitA big +1 to this from me. We’ve been pushing on some particular things for new champions as you’ve mentioned and player feedback calling out where we should improve/where our past releases have sometimes fallen short of the mark’s been enormously valuable.

Also wanted to say thanks for the thread. Discussion can get pretty focused on what’s problematic at times, and while that’s really useful to hear it’s also very helpful to cover the what’s going well side of things sometimes too.

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Have you considered an isolation mechanic that prevents pings

Morello Final PortraitWe have, but think this is overcame by third-party voice and chat programs. Since that can eliminate the certainty that the character is “silenced,” we’ve avoided that one.

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Will there ever be an Invoker type champion in League

Morello Final PortraitIt’s less of a rule than a lack of perceived value outside of “cool” in this case.

For these champions, even being more unique, they have a purpose and goal around HOW they evolve the game. If we get to the point on that for an Invoker-style champ, we’d consider it, but not for its own sake.

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Why isnt the damage on Nautiluss W instant

Meddler Final PortraitThe intent behind Nautilus’ damage on W being split between the initial impact and a follow up DoT is to make getting some attack speed rewarding, but not mandatory (e.g. if Wit’s End is in a spot where it’s considered a useful item to pick up on some champs it should be worth considering on Nautilus, without being a ‘get this or fail’ item).

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Given that AS items are popular can his W be made to burst

Meddler Final PortraitThat’d be an option if looking to buff Nautilus certainly. He’s one of the junglers the live balance team are currently tracking to see if they’re too weak given the jungle changes. Main question to ask would be whether there are better places to put power on him instead if he needs it – which buffs address where he needs power, when, leave build options open where possible, give him a distinct niche as a tank etc.

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Does Champion size change abilities or stats

Meddler Final PortraitIt does not, with one or two specific exceptions (e.g. Cho’s E as mentioned below, which is called out explicilty on the E’s tooltip). Size modifies how easy you are to hit with various abilities, whether line skillshot, ground targeted or whatever and can make it harder for enemies to target your allies instead of you, it doesn’t inherently change your stats or abilities though.

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Doesnt it change your Auto Attack Range

Meddler Final PortraitAuto attack range is calculated from the edge of your hitbox, it’s also calcuated to the edge of the enemy hitbox however. From the perspective of how far you can hit from the center of your model your auto attack range does increase as your model gets larger, the range you can be hit at also increases however so your effective range doesn’t change (e.g. a Lulu ulted target can attack targets slightly further away, but can also be hit by enemies slightly further away as well).

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Have you settled on a direction for Evelynns VU

IronStylus Final PortraitMy hunch is to go more into the.. um.. well.. sorta hybrid succubus, seductive vampire-like sorta thing. I would make her a literal vampire, but I feel she needs that shadowy, creature of the night feel. I’ll say right up front that I’m not a fan of the BDSM look, I also think that’s kind of a misnomer because it’s hard to simplify a sexual affinity into like.. a single look. Don’t get me started on 50 Shades of Grey. puts gun in mouth

All that said, the other full time concept artist on the ChampUP team, Lonewingy (concept artist for Nami & her skins, Azir, and part of the Rek’Sai team also) is focusing on Eve. I leave it to her discretion because shes a better everything than I am.

Again, we’re still really early on in development, so there’s still no solid direction.

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Why can the enemy see RekSais tunnels in the fog of war

Meddler Final PortraitIntent is that the tunnels are visible through fog of war once you’ve seen them once. Goal there is to make it possible to hide tunnels for future use while also ensuring enemies are able to track tunnel locations once they’ve discovered them.

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Can you improve the clarity of her tunnels

Meddler Final PortraitTeam specific mini map colors for tunnels will be in by the time she launches, we’re just sorting out a few code issues with that at the moment.

As far as the tunnels themselves go there are team indicators on them (color of mist emerging from them). I get the impression from your post those are too hard to read at the moment though?

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When will Ao Shin be released

Meddler Final PortraitTLDR: Ao Shin someday, won’t be soon.

Slightly longer version: We spent a bunch of time working on Ao Shin but ultimately concluded he wasn’t hitting the mark so put him on hold for a while in order to figure some things out. We still think his concept’s really cool, as is some of the stuff we were trying with him, so do intend to make him someday. Don’t expect to see him anytime soon though, we’d rather be slow, but do a better job of delivering on his potential, than quick

That’s a process some other champs have also gone through (Lee Sin, Elise and Azir for example), where it took a few different takes to hit on what we felt was the right one (Lee Sin originally as Blind Monk way back pre launch, Elise originally as Priscilla the Spider Queen, Azir originally as Seth the sand mage), ultimately yielding better champs in the long run we feel.

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Is it likely that his name wont be Ao Shin on release

Meddler Final PortraitHis name’s certainly something we’d want to talk about, assess whether ‘Ao Shin’ is still a good fit for the final version of him we get to. Can’t offer you any thoughts on likelihood of that though at the moment, it’s not something we’ve looked at yet.

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Meddler Final PortraitInternal names can be pretty placeholder ish at times and many champs spend a while being referred to as something else before we figure out a final name for them. Sometimes that’s a moderately serious name like Seth, sometimes it’s something jokey (Vel’koz was ‘Professor Eyebeam’ for a few months for example).

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Is the Institute of War gone from the rebooted lore

Jaredan Final PortraitHiya Giggle, I hope I can add at least a little clarity:

The Institute of War is no longer in the story world. Champions who are inextricably tied into the IoW as a core part of their motivation will be receiving changes. Champions who have some mention of the IoW will be receiving relatively minor edits. Summoners are not what they were as their prime interaction with the story was through the IoW. That does not mean that the concept of Summoners will never be seen again within the story world, they just won’t be taking the same role as previously. So nope, Summoners are not deleted from Runeterra.

I can understand the confusion. We want to reveal things through the course of Runeterra’s story rather than through mainly biographical content or by outlining plot points that would undercut stories when they are released. Also, frankly, there are things we just want to explore more and hone until we think they meet our increasingly stringent measure of quality. In other words, we’re making a lot of changes to level up our storytelling and to get more stories to you.

Since September, we’ve released story content pertaining to the Shurima event, Azir and Xerath, The Harrowing, Kalista and Rek’Sai. We’ve learned lessons from all of them and we’re attempting to deliver stories with more regularity and consistency through the end of the year and 2015. We have a couple of technical challenges, and we’re working to ensure an increasingly high quality bar, which means sometimes we just look at a story and decide we need to work on it more before it can go to players.

We’ve got a lot to do, and I know the “we’re working on it” posts can be infuriating as I’m not able to provide all of the details that are requested for an array of reasons.

FInally, Jax is cool anytime, anywhere.

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Issues with the new lore that havent been solved

> We’ve got a lot to do, and I know the “we’re working on it” posts can be infuriating as I’m not able to provide all of the details that are requested for an array of reasons.

All due respect, the anger stems from a lot more than just “we’re working on it” posts. It’s that you say you’re working on things, but we’re not seeing the results we should be expecting.

• Of all the short lores posted on the PBE (Shurima and Shadow Isles), we’ve seen two full ones (Azir and Xerath, and only after much pressure) and one reverted (Maokai). We’re still waiting for the other 14 (Amumu, Rammus, Skarner, Ezreal, Cassiopeia, Renekton, Nasus, Karthus, Mordekaiser, Thresh, Evelynn, Elise, Hecarim and Yorick). Are these stories ready for release or are you lot still “working on it/them?”

• Of the new champs and reworks, we’ve seen Kalista (possibly under duress) and Sion (a mistake by someone).

• Singed, a champ whose story has been broken since the first Soraka rework (September 2012), was only just acknowledged as a “problem” very recently. Yet, we see no foreseeable progress from Riot/Narrative in fixing his story after 26 months.

I’m sorry for any “snarkiness” found in this reply, but how can we trust you guys when you “say” that you’re working on things when we’re not seeing any progress on this and the myriad of other issues Narrative needs to deal with?

 

Jaredan Final PortraitWe still haven’t got the tech issue sorted. Kalista came out on the boards because we couldn’t get her story out in the way we wanted, but putting those stories out on the boards just isn’t ideal so we don’t want to do it for all of them. We put the stories out because it’s what we desperately want to do. We’re not being forced to do it against our will, which would be odd.

 

The stories for the Champions you outline are at various stages of completion. Some are done, some are in final revision stages (mostly heading into tech edits), some are being rewritten. All of them have had initial treatments that have either moved forward or haven’t yet met targets for quality.

After we’ve released stories for Shuriman and Shadow Isles Champs, we’ll be looking at stories for Champions not tied to any specific faction, particularly for Champions who are currently inextricably tied to the IoW. Other Champs who have contradiction issues will be given attention also.

If you’ve been paying close attention to recent events, you’ll have a good idea of where we’ll be going next in regard to the next larger story in Runeterra—which we’re also currently working on.

We want you to share your ideas on what you would like to see from Champions who will fall into the areas I’ve outlined, and we’d love to read and join in discussion wherever possible, but I have to be honest: if the main thrust of the ideas are tied to the IoW then it’s very difficult for me, or other members of Narrative, to engage with them. We’ve outlined where we are headed and we’re committed to developing Runeterra as a story world in the way we’ve laid out.

Also, we are not going to be giving you early breakdowns of stories before we tell them as that would defeat much of the purpose of the stories themselves.

You and I in isolation, as well as members of the Story and Art community and Narrative, have disagreed on some of the changes made this year, and I’m sure we will have differences of opinion on some of the stories we tell in the years ahead. I’m trying to be as open as I can be, while being responsible to the work being done.

Until we are releasing stories at the pace and quality that the community is looking for, and that we are working towards, we will have recurring discussions on the issue that can become more annoying because it’s hard to give you different answers to ones that have already been provided. The stories will be the answers, the details and the points to discuss, and until we have a large enough number of them it’s difficult not to feel like a broken record. That’s completely our responsibility and one I take very personally. We have started on that journey, but we have a long way to go.

I know you’ve heard this before, but it’s honestly where Narrative as a team is currently, and it’s all I’m able to divulge right now. We’re evolving our team, our processes, our means of delivering stories in different media all in order to get more, better stories to you.

Whenever I’m able to give concrete answers, I will, but I hope the frustrations of a lack of specificity will diminish mainly due to compelling stories.

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How should Taric be updated

IronStylus Final PortraitHello again (again).

So something interesting came up in this thread:

http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/HALQfHsu-marvelous-portrait-of-taric-on-surfer-singeds-updated-textures

 

Namely, a discussion around hair. Yes. Hair.

 

 

Bur seriously, there’s a thought swimming in my head about slanting Taric a little more “modern”. Even the term “metrosexual” came up, mainly referring to a well-kempt, good looking gentleman that’s fashionable and, for lack of a better term, “modern”. Some of my explorations lean this way. I’ll emphasize explorations as this is super early concept stuff.

In part II of this discussion…

http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/a7ulBkBM-so-what-do-you-guys-wanna-do-with-taric-part-ii-pics-or-it-didnt-happen

..we talked about visual reference, asking what people were looking for in our favorite gem knight. A lot of fancy paladin art came up, sort of standard fantasy fair. The traditional suit of armor that’s nicely ornamented and beautiful. But, it begs a question. What can separate Taric out from a standard paladin? One idea that’s been floated in giving him that “modern” twist I mentioned. What does this mean? Well, it can mean a lot of things. One thing is his hair. Hair often can define modernity and current fashion trends. The way I perceive it is that the poof that Taric sorta has now dates him quite a bit. The suggestion was made to give him more of a modern cut, and therefore, give him more relatable, and current, style.

I’m wondering that maybe we don’t stop there. Maybe we push him to feel “modern” and fashionable all over. I’m not talking about futuristic, or runway high-fashion, but I’m wondering if it’d be a valuable exercise to ask for ideas about what people think a “Modern Paladin” could look like. Maybe supply some images that stress Taric’s beauty and charm, but also set him apart from sword-and-sorcery fantasy. Not that that sort of fantasy is bad, but I’m looking to see what sort of spin we might be able to put on Taric that isn’t just an armor set. I think exploring fashion, modern trends, and more contemporary looks might yield some results.

What do you think?

 

 

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

 

 

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Summary

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

TL;DR in featured comments.

 

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Riot needs to listen more to its player base

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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He’s not wrong to say that

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


“You guys need to engage with us more.”

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

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

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

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

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

“You’re calling us a vocal minority.”

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

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

“You only talk in generalizations, not specifics.”

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

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

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Why did Riot suddenly decide to rework the

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

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Communicate with Challenger and Diamond 1 players on private message boards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Follow Up

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

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

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

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

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

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So you don't think that we need a

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

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

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

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

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Why don’t you remove the

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

My worry there is that of familiarity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Extreme LP losses in Diamond EUW

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

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

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

Some of the gains and losses here do look a bit extreme but should become more stable over time. We’ll be monitoring how LP changes stabilize over the next few days and evaluating if we need to make adjustments or not based on the results.

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

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

 

 

News Update August 11 Banner


Summary

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


Recent News

Interview with Bjergsen Banner

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

Here’s a list of the latest updates:

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Team Builder and Honor Banner

 


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

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

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Any chance you guys simply replace Blind Pick with Team Builder

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

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Can we expect improvements to Team Builder’s queue times

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

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

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

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

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

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Did you expect to have issues handing out the Role Icons

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

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

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

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

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Queue times are way too long for smurf accounts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Are you saying that punishments are more important than rewards

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

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

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Why are you so silent about development

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

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

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Clarity on number of players with Honor badges

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

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

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Are you considering tangible rewards such as IP

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

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Soraka’s new gameplay Banner

 

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Infused healers have the downside of being incapable of healing themselves

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

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

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

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

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Follow Up

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

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

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

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

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Is Darius still being worked on

 



Taric needs a rework


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





Using the PBE to test out crazy ideas




 

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


 

News Update August 7 Banner

 

Summary

Continuing yesterday’s discussion on Soraka, Morello and Vesh offer their insight on her design as a dedicated healer and explain why Starcall was scrapped and replaced with a skillshot version that enhances Soraka’s heals. Moving on, the jungle is in a rough spot and in need of big-board changes this preseason, Lyte elaborates on cases of permanent chat restrictions, Fiora’s rework has been delayed for an unidentified period of time, League’s lore hasn’t been forgotten, the PBE changes to Lulu were just a tooltip update, IronStylus wants YOUR ideas for a skin and added clarity on the scope of Viktor’s rework.

 

Recent News

Interview with Dyrus Banner

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

Here’s a list of the latest updates:

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More on Soraka Banner

 

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Can you keep Soraka’s Q the way it is

Vesh New Portrait I’m sure there are people who like Starcall. There are going to be people who generally like any given spell on a kit. However, ramping damage in a PBAoE around Soraka is a tank pattern and honestly can’t exist on a character like her.

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Follow Up

Vesh New PortraitRamping PBAoE says stand in the middle of a fight for a long time. Standing in the middle of the fight for a long time says build defenses. A character who is incredibly tanky/builds defenses can’t also be leagues best healer. You can’t kill her allies because she heals them, and you can’t kill her because she’s tanky. It creates a situation with no clear optimal choice and feels bad for the entire enemy team.

There are other problems too, but we want Soraka to be an incredibly powerful healer but also someone who can just get blown up if she misplays. She will definitely be more high risk/high reward when it comes to healing.

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Will Soraka be harder to play post-rework

Vesh New PortraitTo give some context, the heal itself is not a skillshot. Overall the only spell that had it’s targeted type changed was Q, so while the champion is technically more hard to play from an inputs standpoint, she’s still substantially easier than most of the champions in our game. 

 


The thing that makes her harder is that she will require a great amount of judgement and awareness to play properly. She will still be a character that newer players can be somewhat successful with, but that is not the primary goal of the update. For a character to be “simple” or “easy,” what you’re actually saying is one of the following:

1) Very simple mechanical paradigms (which generally don’t have many points of mastery)
or
2) Extremely direct pattern with little to no decision making required.

At the end of the day, our player base has become much more mature in terms of what they expect from gameplay, and I would not feel comfortable putting out a champion update that fit strongly into one of those categories. 

I will say though that Soraka definitely has much greater mechanical simplicity than an average release and the tradeoff is that she has much more decision making and situational choice.

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Soraka can’t be durable and healer at the same time

Morello New PortraitWell said. If we want Soraka to be a great and healthy healer (and we do!), then she can’t also be durable. The tradeoff on her is that she becomes vulnerable in order to help allies, and be someone who can have rich gameplay while providing healing.

 


If there was one common thread in the feedback concerning Soraka, it was how much her identity means to players – that of a healer. With the challenges around making that work, we’re actually trying to define a good healing paradigm in a PvP game to meet that identity. With that as the goal, the details of old Soraka be damned – we can’t improve and evolve the game if we constantly shy away from changes that might not be desirable purely because they’re different.

Also mark your calendars – Morello is saying Soraka should be a healer, and is a huge advocate of it. 

I think the actual healer problem has lied in the paradigm of the pure MMO healer who lacks the right tradeoffs and weaknesses. Not healing yourself well is a great one to have that allows us to make her really bonkers in certain situations.

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Given the team’s record, do you plan on a follow-up to Soraka’s rework

Morello New PortraitI think Skarner’s story is representative of what I want to see. We made a mistake and corrected that by continuing to work on it until it was right. This is an important metric of both being bold with changes, and allowing us to not release things that don’t satisfy their objectives and satisfy players.

 


Much of this is due to the holistic Champion Updates (reworks) team being its own effort with focus on nothing else. So when something doesn’t go well, instead of having competing priorities (**** BETTER WORK ON THIS NEXT PATCH), they can support their work. This should have huge implications.

That being said, it still does mean there will be change and disagreement with the details – I’m fine with that. We have an obligation to earn your trust…I believe in that a great deal. I don’t concern myself with short-term anger or change-aversion as those are a simple cost of passion and engagement.

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Will the MR shred on Soraka’s kit remain after her rework

Vesh New PortraitAlso for all the people talking about MR shred, it’s not going to remain on the kit. Shreds are extremely powerful but somewhat problematic because they are almost unnoticeable for how powerful they are. There is no good representation of how “shredded” you are, especially with one that stacks. In general, I think it would be a lot better for Soraka to have power that is really cool and noticeable than an equal amount of power that, while understandable intellectually, doesn’t translate to exciting gameplay.

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State of the Jungle Banner

 

 

Jungling is too easy, which makes high-stat champions prevail

Morello New PortraitI totally agree. In fact, I think our jungle direction has been completely backwards over the last few seasons. That’s our bad and I think the results are clear.

To that, returning different ways to succeed at the jungle is key to restoring choice, and making it not a chain-gank fest in lanes. I’ll give more details on this in the coming months, but directionally we’re totally in agreement.

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Why, then, did you nerf Feral Flare shortly after releasing it

Morello New PortraitDefinitely wrong way to solve the problem – the jungle itself needs to allow for these styles, THEN we support them.

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How would you buff a jungler without buffing his laning, too

Morello New PortraitI think by making it so that things other than just gank/duel/clear speed can matter in jungle. 

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Do you and Ghostcrawler look at recommended buffs nerfs by the live team

Morello New PortraitI don’t pay attention to details of balance – I’m not really focused on that level of stuff (though I know statikk and his team is). Our roles are to provide guidance on larger-level strategy for the game design, so I tend to not read the balance-specific stuff as much since I feel out-of-date in that realm.

Things like “we need to solve the jungle” as a design project priority, for example 

EDIT: To add, it’s because I largely trust the details-level work to that team. They do a good job as long as we all know WHY we’re doing what we’re doing. So my job is to clarify where we’re going and what our objectives are, and working with the Live Gameplay guys in that way is my focus.

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Elise Lee Sin are just setting a bar for all other junglers

Morello New PortraitWell, in this case, I think the jungle direction we’ve set (and that IS my bad completely!) previously has lead to a greater whack-a-mole state. In the interim, getting the long-standing dominant picks to have some competition was a goal, and fixing the jungle systemically is how we can make REAL progress towards variety. 

And much of this is undoing some previous work, and adding new ways to master League.

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Can we hope to see meaningful changes to tanky junglers soon

Morello New PortraitPreseason is my target for real serious change. Competitively, we won’t see much past 4.14, but might see more QoL/buffs as needed.

In non-competitive, tanky junglers are LORDS – and with Worlds being on a patch around next couple of patches, I think we’ll have to look at the state in more regular play too.

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Was it hard to admit your plans for the jungle went backwards

Morello New PortraitIt wasn’t hard to admit once we dug down into it more – being wrong is a huge part of design, and I think Riot DETECTS problems well. I think we have a hard time executing fixing them in a timely manner – especially big problems.

Watching our intentions have results that were completely opposite of our goals was a pretty clear roadsign 

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Why should I trust you will do a good job fixing the jungle

Morello New PortraitI don’t think you should trust me on jungle. I’ve made big mistakes there.

This is a huge problem for me, and the reason I talk a lot less on here is because I want our actions to show if we’ve learned, then to talk. I don’t care much about player anger – people get mad at good changes frequently – I do care a great deal about trust.

Skarner and Soraka are a couple of efforts I want to point out as good on this front, but we have more to do systemically.

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Lee Sin and Elise should be nerfed, because they excel at everything

Morello New PortraitThis is true. Unless you want every champ to be the same, we can’t just buff up to “does everything.”

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Any plans to tune what blue red buffs offer to teams

Morello New PortraitDefinitely. I think they’re an easy lever to tune.

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You seem unwilling to commit to big-broad balance changes

Morello New PortraitWe’ve been pretty conservative – I agree on that, especially in the jungle. 

I’m not going to make promises here much based on that fact, I’d rather get it right and be like “hey guys!”  But I did want to acknowledge the problem as agree-upon and important, so that you guys get that we think we’ve gone backwards and are looking to fix. 

Previous jungle stuff has been lightweight.

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Fiora's Rework Banner

 

 



Morello New PortraitWe’ve had to yet-again delay Fiora’s rework due to some unforseen circumstances on resourcing. I have nothing of worth to say about that except for my apologies that we’ve let down Fiora players with promises on this stuff.

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Follow Up

Morello New PortraitIf you rate on power, we’d not need to do many reworks – I think Fiora is a pretty same-y melee carry who misses to opportunities to provide a really high-skill fencer fantasy. That’s on us as a champion team.

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It always feels like everything gets delayed and nothing ever comes out

Morello New PortraitWe get excited and want to tell people, then normal development stuff occurs and we’re like, “well, ****.”

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Was Fiora’s gameplay update scrapped

Morello New PortraitDelayed for (x) time as we needed to shuffle some resources and priorities. Still a thing to-do.

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Can you explain how chat restricting works

Lyte New PortraitThe chat restriction system is going through some tuning. Before, players were confused when the chat restriction system would under-give chat restrictions, so you’d get 10, finish 10 games and get another 10 when the system should have just given you 20 to start.

 


The chat restriction system now tries to hand out the right number of chat restrictions in the initial waves. For players that have racked up a lot of consistently negative offenses, it’s now possible to basically be “permanently” chat restricted. For many players with 500+ chat restrictions, it’s effectively a super harsh, long-term chat ban. Some players say they’d rather be permanently chat restricted than permanently banned and lose their account, so we’ll see what’s more effective in improving behaviors.

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Follow Up

Lyte New PortraitThe chat restriction system is far more accurate in how many games you’d have to show neutral or positive behavior to reach a neutral state. So, theoretically if you finish the 700 games and have improved throughout the process, you’d be in neutral status.

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Isn’t restricting communication harming teamplay

Lyte New PortraitThis is a pretty common misunderstanding. For players that are being chat restricted, a lot of their communication wasn’t enhancing teamwork, or improving player experience anyways. In fact, players being chat restricted tend to do the opposite–they inhibit teamwork, create negative experiences, and frustrate teammates.

 

Furthermore, we see about 75% of players improve their behaviors after their 1st set of chat restrictions, and many toxic players win more games during chat restrictions… so I don’t agree that chat restrictions are a bad idea.

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500+ games chat restriction doesn’t incentivize better behavior

Lyte New PortraitThe factor you’re missing is that only players that have shown they haven’t improved with smaller sets of chat restrictions will get huge “permanent” sets of chat restrictions.

75% of players tend to improve after a smaller set of 10-20 chat restrictions, but those that don’t improve tend to get chat restrictions repeatedly. Sometimes, we’ll permanently ban these accounts if they show high severity offensive behaviors, but if the behaviors are low severity, we’re going to try permanently chat restricting the accounts instead of just permanently banning them.

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League's Lore Banner

 

 

Has League’s lore been forgotten

MilkManiac New PortraitI’ll take a shot at this. For clarity though, I am not on the lore team. However, I am a huge lore geek. I, like many of you, love books/movies/games with massive, fully fleshed-out worlds (Kingkiller Chronicles anyone?). So obviously, when I joined Riot, one of the first things I did was to gobble up any lore-related information and understand what’s going on with it.

 

Here’s what I learned: Lore is by no means forgotten. I’d like to draw a comparison to the Summoner’s Rift Update. Around winter a lot of players started asking why there was no winter-themed Summoner’s Rift. Some players assumed Riot just didn’t care about the map anymore. However, by now it should be apparent that we didn’t ignore flavoring the map, but instead we had most of our environmental artists working on SRU, which in my mind is much more important than having a winter-themed map. In fact, I would argue that making a skin for an older map, and delaying a newer map to do so, would be a disservice to players.

Getting back to lore, I know that since Freljord, there’s be almost nothing related to lore that has come out. I also realize that many players, such as yourself, have determined that we are starting to “get cheap” with our lore and our world, and given the visibility you have, that’s an understandable conclusion. But let me pose a different theory. What if the Lore is like the current summoner’s Rift: It’s functional and has some really cool features, but it also has some glaring bugs and is by no means as pretty or as flushed out as it could be? What if the reason why there are no Journals of Justice or any lore updates of any kind are because everyone related to lore is working on stuff that takes priority?

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Players want to hear what Riot is thinking about narrative direction

MilkManiac New PortraitWell Said!

A lot of the reason why we’re so “Hush Hush” is that we have so much going on at once, and the last thing we want to do is to tell you about a work in progress, only to have it get cancelled or changed, and then crush your expectations (because… lets face it… we’ve done that in the past). It may be a slow journey, but there is most definitely a light at the end of the tunnel.

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Send your community skin ideas

IronStylus New PortraitYup! I know there’s a lot of individual threads with suggestions. However..

I’m looking to doodle some skins in my spare time. I know there’s a TON of great community concepts out there. Some are serious, some are silly. I’m interested in what’s floating around. Got any suggestions? I know there’s individual threads, but sometimes it’s hard to skim through them all D:

TO CLARIFY! Ideas floated have no guarantee of actually happening. I’m just overall curious to see what shows up in this thread and what rises to the top, as well as maybe messing around with some ideas on my spare time.

Some pro-tips:

  • While trolly ideas are great, but think of things that would really appeal to a wide variety of players. “Cool” is a subjective term, but ideate on things that would feel great on existing characters and would really add something special and appealing.

  • Think globally! That’s an important aspect of skin development. While NA is where a lot of us on these forums live, we want to show love to the entire world! How cool were the Warring Kingdom skins? Wasn’t River Spirit Nami gorgeous? Those are ideas inspired from cultures from around the world. If you are thinking of ideas that are more NA/EU derived, think of things that still appeal to the rest of the planet. Pool party skins are great examples. Everyone loves a pool party!

  • Preserve the character. While Eternum Lux might be a neat looking idea, does that fit Lux’s personality or core character? Is it complementary or does it distract? Additionally, preserve the characters graphic reads. You probably don’t want to change the size of Draven’s blades too much, or make Jarvan’s lance really skinny. You probably don’t want to give a character that doesn’t have a helmet something that blocks the face too much.

Anyways, give it some thought! I’d love to see what the cream of the crop ideas of the community are!

 

 

Lulu’s W change on the PBE is a tooltip update

 

[ Context ] This is providing clarity on a change to Lulu’s W from yesterday, which was actually just a tooltip update. Sorry ._.

 

Hongyou New PortraitNo actual gameplay change.

 

 

 

 

 

Clarity on Viktor’s rework
Solcrushed New PortraitOn the scope of the upcoming GU, its not intended to be a full scale rework and is geared mainly toward his Q and passive. W E and R will remain quite similar to their current form (although with tweaks)

 

 

 

 

Can you make ARAM truly random

RoboLions New PortraitWe agree that something could be done to make ARAMs a more balanced and cohesive mode. We’re still working towards identifying an end solution so I can’t share any specifics at this time, but I want you to know we are on the case! 🙂

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

 

 

News Update July 23 Banner

 

Summary

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

 

Recent News

PBE-Update-July-21-Banner

A-New-Dawn-Cinematic-Banner

PBE Update July 22 Banner

 

 

GPL Icons in Store Banner


 

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

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

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

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

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Who does Riot balance for Banner


 

 

You seem to be terribly biased in balancing League

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

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

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

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

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

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Do you not want Lee Sin changed before Worlds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 



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

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Why does it seem like Riot is constantly understaffed

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

 

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

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Slower Champion release means less potential balance issues

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

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What purpose do you want Supports to serve on a team

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

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Where’s the Bruiser rework promised for Season 4

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

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Who does does Riot want to balance League of Legends for

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

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Why are most Champions forced into a single role and lane

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

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

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

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

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

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Is there truly no room for melee DPS

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

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

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How are we to speak with developers when they rarely respond

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

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It seems Riot underrates small tweaks made to Champions

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

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

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

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What exactly does the Design team do

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

 

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

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

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Why do Rioters respond to trolls but not to reasonable threads

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

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Have you ever thought that some top laners liked Melee vs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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QA on Balance Design Banner


 

 

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

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

1) Kha’Zix

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

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

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

2) Hecarim

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

3) Balance “Favoritism”

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

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

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

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

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

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

1) State of Akali

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

2) Squishy Melee

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

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

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

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

3) Spell Vamp

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

4) Stealth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Lucian feels like a better Ezreal right now

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

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

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

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

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

Statikk New Portrait1) Taric

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

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

2) Zilean

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

3) Alistar

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

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

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Are there any plans to rework Garen

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

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

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

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

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What's your view on Quinn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Direction of LoL Balance

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

How will you address unpopular Champions like, say Viktor

 

Will you address Diana’s currently poor state

 

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

 

How long does it take to rework or update a Champion

 

Which takes more time - new Champions or new updates

 

Will we see a solution to the ball of stats fighters

 

 

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

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

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

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Can we have an update on Dunkmaster Darius

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

(He looks kind of amazing. Graceful, even).   [ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

News Update June 25 Banner

 

Red Post Collection

Single Posts – Taric and Cho’Gath VU Talk

Bonus! Corporate Riven

 

Recent News

 

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How to avoid Top Tier Champions Banner


 

A recent popular comment by a Summoner on the prevalence of certain Champion picks in games caught the attention of Nerf Master Suck Town.

 

 

[ ChilePerson ] Balance issues stifle pick diversity

 

Note: I’m am directing this to competitive gameplay and ranked games (especially Diamond) Dear Riot, The following was patch was great and I think the Riot team is heading the right direction, But! You should really focus on fixing the following REAL problem in the game. At least 5 or 6 of the following champions are played/banned in EVERY SINGLE GAME: Braum Irelia Jax Kassadin Kayle Le Blanc Lee Sin Lucian Lulu Nidalee Twich Yasuo ..The same champions are banned EVERY SINGLE GAME (usually Kass,Kayle,Jax,Braum,lb,Yasuo,Nid,) League really feels like there are 20 champions in it instead of 120… Why is this so? Because these champions are better than other champions in almost every way (aka Tier 1 champions) There are about 20 more champions after them that are just below tier 1 (Kha,Elise,Rengar,Evelyn, etc) You can see this for yourself really…Open league, go to the home-screen, and look at the 5 spectating matches that are going on…again same champions… look at LCS and pro matches…same champions… When I see a Cho Gath,Sion,Olaf,etc all of the sudden I get so happy to see something new in my game… my games are usually very dull; I want to see this dealt with…I have a dream that the fact that champions are divided into T1,T2,T3 champions will be no more. I want to see myself playing are game and having no idea what the enemy team and my team are going to pick. I want players to pick champions based on their very own style of gameplay and not based on how strong and useful a champion is. I wish to see this game really shine and this issue stands in the game over all Sincerely, a fan. ChilePerson -D1

 

morello Riotlink Button Morello: Thanks – this is a big problem, we agree, but we’ve missed talking about our strategy on this stuff.

The types of changes here are (as you note) how we move to a more sustainable and balanced state. This is about addressing underlying systems, overloaded champions (Champion Updates team and Live Gameplay are focusing big on this) and where too few tradeoffs exist. In fact, our clarification on our design values was a bit of a result of us determining what tradeoffs we’ll be willing to make to fix these things. Change can be painful, so we need to be smart about how we deliver it.

The problem with many short-term nerfs is it just creates a new class of OP – the “just below tier 1” you speak to. While we’ll still need to do some reactive balance, I really want to get to a point to where champions have meaningful strengths AND weaknesses – and all the champions on the top of the pile are safe and have low tradeoffs. A pile of power.

Does this help explain a bit of our direction, and why we’re being aggressive on things like Nidalee rework?

 

 

How to properly nerf Lucian Banner


Lucian’s been a problem for quite some time. What makes him the dominant pick among Ranged ADs?

 

 

[ Question ] Does Lucian really have high mobility?

 

ZenonTheStoic Riotlink Button ZenonTheStoic: Lucian is super high mobility. His dash is 425 units range with a max lookahead distance of 475 if 425 ends you in terrain (to guarantee certain wallhops). This is superior to Graves (425 with no lookahead). Quickdraw also has a movespeed of your MS + 850, whereas Lucian’s Relentless Pursuit has a fixed 1350 dash speed. The slow cleanse is super important on it as well, as pointed out by I Arent David.

On top of that, he has his W which he can proc repeatedly for flat MS (which scales super well with % MS from items) and of course his ult which allows him to move while attacking and ghosts him (oops did I fail to put that into the tooltip? Well now you know ;P)

Lucian is all about mobility, and I want that to remain the case. I want mobility to be his one big strength. Currently, as Morello correctly points out, he has no weaknesses. During design we thought range would be his weakness. What can I say, we were young and foolish.

Maybe he needs 500 attack range?

 

 

[ Follow-up ] Why was Lucian given 550 auto-attack range?

 

ZenonTheStoic Riotlink Button ZenonTheStoic: The idea originally was that his meaningful damage should come from Q (cast range of 550) and his passive (AA range of 550). Compare to Jinx (Q range increase, meaningful damage on W), Caitlyn (err), Corki (Q and R spammable long range), Tristana (passive), Ezreal (constant Q poke at great range) etc.

Obviously we were wrong! I’m just trying to explain our state of mind at the time.

 

 

[ Second Follow-up ]

 

ZenonTheStoic Riotlink Button ZenonTheStoic: The feeling that anything less than 550 range is a HUGE feel hit on an ADC. With new targeting paradigms on Q and R and absolutely no confidence in how much players would feel the power from his passive we didn’t want to set ourselves up for total failure with a E-tier aa range.

Lucian had the second worst adoption rate in 2013. People really didn’t like him at first. At 500 range on release? He would have tanked so hard.

 

 

Why Shen is disabled in LCS Banner

Join software engineeer LtRandolph on a quest to track down a very rare bug in League.

 

 

[ Bug Report ] Sometimes Shen’s ultimate doesn’t teleport him

 

LtRandolph Riotlink Button LtRandolph: It’s an extraordinarily confusing and complicated bug. It doesn’t help that it’s extremely rare and we haven’t been able to find a way to reliably cause it to happen. Over the past several patches (since I joined Riot) I’ve been adding logging when it happens on live, so that I can learn more about exactly what’s going on. In addition, we’ve been putting in small attempts at fixing it as I’ve gathered data, but I can verify that they haven’t yet fixed it completely.

Griftrix and I spent several hours yesterday poring over the latest data, and I’m cautiously optimistic that we’re approaching a reasonable theory.

 

 

[ Follow-up ] What is the bug?

 

LtRandolphRiotlink Button LtRandolph: Sorry, some other people had mentioned it. Shen’s ult is not supposed to be cancelled without teleporting him unless he is cced or his target dies.

Very very rarely, he decides “hmm, nevermind, I’d rather attack this minion” or “why don’t I cast taunt where I am, rather than where I’m going like my Summoner intends”. I can more or less tell in code when either of these happens, and when it does, I dump A LOT of information to a data collection server thingie. At the moment that information is pointing me to a fairly small chunk of code that is doing something that, to my eyes, looks impossible, leading me to talking to folks like Griftrix who have more experience in this codebase.

 

 

[ Suggestion ] Rework Shen’s ult to work like, for example, Summoner Teleport, and you can avoid the bug

 

LtRandolphRiotlink Button LtRandolph: The part that is failing is a part that doesn’t exist in any of those other teleports, namely the part that makes it (theoretically) impossible for Shen to cancel the ult. In all honesty it is set up extremely similarly to the other teleports except for that key difference.

 

 

[ Suggestion ] Have you considered ‘re-coding’ Shen’s abilities to get rid of this bug? 

 

LtRandolphRiotlink Button LtRandolph: It’s a good question. Every ability in the game is made of a bunch of “building blocks” that a designer will put together in order to make the ability happen. Some of them for Stand United include things like “put a glowy purple thing on Shen” and “make him play the animation where he crosses his chest”. Others will be things like “check if the target has died” and “move him to next to his target when the channel ends”. Actually some of these are made of a few blocks, but you get the idea.

We have had some very smart designers attack things from this side, which is the closest to “recoding the ability” that is particularly feasible. Notably I believe that CertainlyT dramatically reduced or eliminated one of the cases that I was seeing earlier in my investigation, since I’m no longer seeing nearly as many logs of Shen attacking a minion to cancel the channel.

The problem, though, is that I’m having a failure of something that’s used to make one of those building blocks; the “channel for X seconds” block stuff. If I understand why the code that makes that block work is failing, then I can fix it, and potentially fix issues with other spells that use that block.

If, instead, I attempted to rewrite that block, there’s 2 different approaches: I can produce two different versions of “channel” which is going to make it more confusing for designers to make future champs, and likely lead to each version having its own set of bugs and limitations, since different people will use different ones. I’ve seen this pattern far too often in my short time in the industry to want to go down this path. Or I can rewrite the only channel block that exists; I imagine you can guess why I don’t want to do that. Who knows what huge other bugs I’m going to introduce in all kinds of abilities that work fine now.

Thus I feel like I either need to track down what’s actually happening, or decide that it’s not worth my time to keep trying. So far I feel like I’m still learning, and that I still have a reasonable chance of arriving at an answer. At the point where that stops being the case, we’ll have to reevaluate things.

I hope this gives some insight to some of how we game engineers think about things.

 

 

[ Follow-up ] If you make 2 blocks of “Channel” why not name one “Shenchannel” so designers know to stray from that particular block since it’s reserved for Shen?

 

LtRandolph Riotlink Button LtRandolph: Conceivably workable. If I didn’t have the suspicion that other bugs might be caused by this same issue that might work its way to the top of my list. My confidence in the ability to capture all of the good aspects of the existing channeling block isn’t much higher than my confidence in tracking down this bug, though.

Good aspects that the channel block helps handle include things like telling the HUD what to show, handling network lag, stopping all other activities, playing the character animation, stopping when Shen dies, etc.

The other consideration is what happens when someone needs to change something about how spells work for a new bit of functionality (e.g. Yasuo’s Wind Wall requiring some new tech about “projectiles”)? I don’t want to add another edge case that people need to think about, since that’s very nearly the exact definition of “technical debt”.

 

 

[ Question ] Why is he disabled in pro-play?

 

LtRandolph Riotlink Button LtRandolph: I wasn’t involved in that decision, but I’m going to take a stab at the rationale.

The bug is very rare and very unpredictable, which would lead teams to not weigh it heavily when considering Shen as a pick. In the case that it happens, though, (particularly at the pro level) it is quite likely to have a dramatic impact on what occurs immediately afterwards. There is a reasonable chance of it swinging the entire outcome of the game. Moreso than any other known bug that I’m aware of. Thus in those small handful of games where it does occur, the outcome of that game all of a sudden becomes “questionable” since a chancy, random bug caused one team to be in a 4v5 post level 6. Particularly in the high stakes world of eSports, I would assert that this sort of randomness is to be strongly avoided.

 

 

[ Question ] Why are you spending so much effort trying to locate the cause of the bug?

 

LtRandolph Riotlink Button LtRandolph: How valuable it is to spend time on this has certainly been part of our discussion. Three main considerations have led to the decision that it’s worth several hours of my time each patch since I joined.

1. I have learned a lot about our code base from chasing around a real-life problem, and since it’s an as-yet unsolved problem, I’m learning about segments that no Rioter has complete mastery of.

2. There are other unsolved bugs that I firmly believe may be related to the root cause of this, and the only way we’ll know is to figure out what’s causing this.

3. As we improve the codebase, it is valuable to know what works, what doesn’t work, and what has caused bugs in the past. Thus, I’m going to be more informed about what I should do as I add code in the future because of my time investigating this bug.

That being said, I am limiting how much time I spend on this every week to make sure that I can keep delivering value elsewhere. I’m not the sort of person who does the type of work that’s needed for the things you listed. I am extremely passionate about helping designers like Xyph and Pony keep bringing you awesome, and there’s no way that I’m going to let this Shen bug hold me back from focusing on that most of the time. 🙂

 

 

[ Off-topic ] Any word on the rumors that you guys are rewriting the really clunky codes that make up the core of the game?

 

LtRandolph Riotlink Button LtRandolph: I am not aware of any game studios that aren’t doing that all the time. It’s pretty much a fact of life in game development that the engine is not perfect, you know which parts are the worst, and whenever you get a chance to improve those parts you do it.

I can say that we definitely talk a lot about how to improve the engine, and I feel like my time is well spent and valued fixing problems around what I’m working on, rather than just writing the minimal amount of code to get it working.

 

 

Tidbits for Summoner Rift VU Banner

A couple of community suggestions about the visual update to SR. And buffs to Jax.

 

 

[ Visual ] Baron’s claws by his feet need to be more dynamic. Right now they just rotate with him and it looks bad. Also, the very back claw looks like there is nothing attached to it. 

 

RiotForScience Riotlink Button RiotForScience: Baron was sitting in a built up crater when his claws were placed down. We couldn’t get it to look decent before PBE so we pulled it. We will come up with some other solution to how the claws work before the map goes live.

 

 

 

[ Opinion ] From a visual perspective, the Nexus and Inhibitors on the new SR don’t look important. They’re just floating crystals.

 

RiotForScience Riotlink Button RiotForScience: All of our artistic decisions were built on cohesive narrative reasoning, but we are not ready to discuss that reasoning yet. Perhaps we can get into it a bit more as we get closer to going live.

 

 

 

[ Suggestion ] Improve the game’s UI along with the visual update to Summoner’s Rift

 

RiotForScienceRiotlink Button RiotForScience: The user-interface people are not actually wrapped into this project but I will mention it to them.

 

 

 

 

Single Posts banner

 

 

[ Question ] Will we see a Cho’gath VU?

 

IronStylus Riotlink Button IronStylus: My feelings.

Short answer: Yes. But not right now.

 



Long answer: It’s going to depend exactly what the scope of Cho is. Because.. ****.. we could scope creep the hell out of him. Because he a) has a lot of real estate, that model has tons of crazy possibilities. b) he has a great, clear theme behind him, and c) all of his abilities are ripe for pumping up to 11. 

All in all, as I’ve said before, Cho’Gath is what I would consider one of our biggest potential successes if we manage to pull it off effectively, efficiently and build in the time for the scope we’re going to want to tack onto him. He has SO much possibility and potential. Some ideas that may or may not ever happen:

– A model with the cabability to expand/extend/bulk as he gets stacks. 
– Anatomy that supports all of his abilities, like how Kha’zix’s has biological aspects to his spells.
– SIZE. He should be a terrifying Kaiju-type thing. 

I’d love to hear some crazy ideas. Throw ’em at me.

He probably won’t happen any time soon. My hunch is maybe sometime next year but that’s assuming a LOT. I want to get concepts on him ASAP just to map out how big of an investment we’re talking. He has the potential to be really epic, my hope is that we can hit him sooner than later.

 

 

Community feedback on Taric VU

 

IronStylus Riotlink Button IronStylus: Thanks for all this feedback guys. It really is informative and insightful. It both confirms and challenges some of the things we’ve thought about internally. While we’re still not in the pre-production phase with him yet, a lot of what’s said here is what I’ll have in the back of my head as we approach concepting him. 

The conversation will continue both here and in the studio. I’m excited at the prospects and ideas that we can leverage when his time comes around officially.

 

 

[ Question ] Can Nidalee be allowed to proc Hunt with her basic attacks?

 

RiotRepertoir Riotlink Button RiotRepertoir: Triggering the Hunt via basic attack is something we’ve decided we probably won’t ever do because it completely circumvents the reliability weakness she is supposed to have. Granted, I think we erred too much on the side of unreliability on her release, but that doesn’t mean we want to eliminate it. I’d like to get Nidalee into a spot where she has a definitive advantage when Hunting and an equal disadvantage when not. That said, applying the Hunt tends to feel far too difficult later on in games at the moment, and that’s what I’d like to address. Good play by Nidalee should result in effective Hunting, and good play by the enemy should result in avoiding Hunting. Right now, however, it feels more like any play by the enemy at all will avoid them getting Hunted.

The combination of difficulty, risk, and reward seem to be off at the moment, but I think we can get it sorted out.

 

 

Bonus! Fan Art of Corporate Riven by Artist iBralui

 

corporate_riven_by_ibralui-d7ly62a

 

 

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

 


News Update June 21 Second Banner

 

Red Post Collection

Single Posts – Darius Rework, Sona, Sion, Headhunter Caitlyn & Much More

 

Recent News


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Direction for Caitlyn’s Visual Update Banner


Caitlyn’s slated for a visual update and how her design would shift is still being discussed.



[ Question ] Will Caitlyn still be a sexy sniper woman after her VU?


Riot Paddo Button Rioter Riot Paddo: I have nothing to do with a VU but besides her officer skin when I think of Cait I don’t see her as a super sexualized champion comparatively to the rest of the female cast. Most of her skins she is pretty covered up not showing a lot of cleavage and at most she just wears a lot of short shorts and skirts.



Does this image work for capturing Caitlyn’s personality?


Caitlyn Redesign


IronStylus Riotlink Button IronStylus: I may or may not have this image in my reference file for an eventual or non-eventual VU.

 

 


[ Follow-up ] Caitlyn’s design


IronStylus Riotlink Button IronStylus: Let’s get slightly less cryptic. I’ll try for at least an 8/10.

There’s a fine line where any champion update is concerned. Yep, that hat is goofy. It’s straight outta Willy Wonka. Egads, that dress, what is she, a ballerina? WHY ALL THE BELTS, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, THE BELTS. However, despite all that inconsistency, there’s charm. I’m coining a term, right here, right now. “Incongruity charm”. The positive emotional responses derived from particular visual aspect of a character that despite making no logical or stylistic sense allows a character to be a) recognized distinctly and b) creates uniqueness. 

That’s what we don’t want to kill, the distinct recognizably and uniqueness of a champion. We want to find a way to make some of that contrast actually consistent without dismantling the character. For me, that means keeping particular reads of a character. It might mean ditching the tutu, but it might mean giving her a long/half coat that creates a similar silhouette. It might mean keeping a hat that’s to a certain extent over-sized, but give it a reason for it to be a little unusual, whether that be by adding functionality, adding fashion or creating story.

For Caitlyn all of the above apply in terms of a solution, I feel. We can turn that hat into something that has functionality that Piltover gadgetry is known for, we can make it something that feels integrated into her fashion persona and we can allow it to be a marker of her story as a member of law enforcement. 

I actually see Caitlyn being able to get a way with high-fashion garb. I wouldn’t yank it right from Victorian London, but I would want to bring it in line with what Piltover is manifesting as in newer characters. That style is more evident and unified in Vi and Jayce. I think it’s only appropriate that Caitlyn follows a similar progression. Making sure that charm is intact but dialing back on some of the incongruity.



[ Opinion ] The above concept just doesn’t fit Caitlyn. It’s too much steampunk, not enough wackiness


IronStylus Riotlink Button IronStylus: It’s not so much about execution nor literal translation of this art. When embarking on any character, a new champion or a VU, I gather reference. I gather a LOT of reference. Sometimes it’s photo reference, sometimes other artist’s reference. It’s reference for design, style, technical execution, etc. This piece happens to be among my reference as is has something to contribute to the conversation. Not necessarily at face value, or from a polish standpoint, but because it’s a player’s interpretation and they’ve let me see the champion through their eyes. I find that extremely valuable.




PBE Changes to Maokai Explained Banner


Maokai got a major overhaul in today’s PBE patch. How will these changes affect his gameplay?


Related Update


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Clarity on PBE changes


SmashGizmo Button Rioter SmashGizmo: Couple of notes here on the Maokai changes that aren’t immediately apparent from looking at the tooltips on PBE.

W no longer has a cast time, essentially this makes it easier for him to reactively use this ability for either the fast snare or to duck a spell with the untargetability.

Sapling movespeed starts lower at 450, but now scales with Maokai’s movespeed, this is why we had to hit the damage on the skill, the damage is more reliable throughout the game and thus the 460 total base damage was a bit whacky.



What’s with the changes to Twisted Advance [ W ] ?


SmashGizmo Button Rioter SmashGizmo: Totally get this confusion and I’ll do my best to clarify how we got to where we currently are on the W changes.

Essentially the start of the changes to the character were centered around the ult and making it more usable and the initial proposal for ult change was a slightly less polished version of the change you see on PBE today. We liked most of what we saw with this version of the ult, but it left a fundamental flaw in the character where he had an ultimate that made him want to stick by and protect his teammates that was constantly at odds with the 650 range snare dash that screamed “initiate on the opposing backline.” The two mechanics didn’t make sense together, so we set out to re-focus the W around shorter range, but faster teamfight positioning that was most effective vs. the opposing front line to keep Maokai closer to his allies. This is also the reason why the damage paradigm shifted from flat damage to % damage; we wanted Maokai’s W to be more target agnostic so that you can feel good about W’ing to that opposing Vi rather than always feeling compelled to dive the opposing squishies.

The results of these changes have been pretty promising in playtests. Maokai still has decent ability to start fights by opening with Sapling slow to make up the extra range lost on the W, but it doesn’t feel quite as inevitible and frustrating when playing against, and meanwhile Maokai gets to feel much better about using the W to get in useful positions for protecting other members of his team. I want to continue to monitor this and test my assumptions about how this is playing out on PBE, but as I said, thus far I’ve been pleased with the result that this change has on it’s kit alongside the other changes that support it (the E for giving him some reach in ganks/initiation scenarios and the R for preferable teamfight positioning).

Hope this helps you understand where we’re coming from on this!



[ Question ] Will you also make the items for tanky junglers better?


SmashGizmo Button Rioter SmashGizmo: Yes, as we’ve said in the forecast, itemization is also being looked at and improved for Tank Junglers this patch, which involves some changes that I won’t go into on the Golem line since we’re still hashing out some of the details before sharing them with yall. Still not sure when they’ll be ready for PBE, but I can tell you that the benefits that tanks are seeing from these changes in internal playtests have been very promising.



[ Question ] How will these changes affect AP Maokai?


SmashGizmo Button Rioter SmashGizmo: Hard for me to tell what exactly it does for AP Mao. Q is essentially unchanged for AP Mao. W is better as a 1 pointer due to the base damage scaling naturally with game time, but the AP ratio doesn’t catch up to live until the target hits 2K HP, sooooo kinda tough to tell?

E retains it’s high ratio, but takes a base damage hit, BUT also gets extra movespeed off your movespeed and slows the opponents, so his poke game becomes more reliable, but less punishing in terms of damage.

Ult is probably strictly buffed for AP Mao since now he can follow his target to nuke them with it.

I think it’s a small net positive for the AP build, but enough parts are moving around for him and we’ve gotten pretty limited testing on it since it is an off-build, so I can’t really say with confidence where it all puts him. It’s a neat little off-build though, and I’d love for it to still be as effect as it is now, so I’ll be keeping an eye on how AP Maokais perform with these changes and adjust ratios around for him if he’s struggling compared to the current power (or if by some chance I’m missing something and he goes crazy with it :p).



Curse voice still banned Banner

Curse Voice is still forbidden! Why?! (I can’t think of a better summary, I don’t know why it’s still banned).


My thoughts on Curse Voice


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Riot Sargonas Button Rioter Riot Sargonas: Hey guys, I just wanted to pop in here. It is NOT ok to use Curse Voice yet. Yes they removed timers, but there are still other concerns we had outlined in our original statement regarding voice chat and overlays. (timers were only 1 of three issues we had with the application at that time.) We’re working closely with Curse to help them make changes that will fit within the guidelines of our ecosystem, so hopefully in the future it will be in the clear once more, as we DO want this to work out well for everyone. However, at this time nothing has changed since our last posting about the issue a few weeks ago.



Why Curse Voice is against Riot policies


Riot Sargonas Button Rioter Riot Sargonas: Since this is a hot topic again, let me outline some clarity on why programs like Curse Voice, Razer Comms, and others are considered against our policies. 

We do not have an issue with people using voice chat, per-say. Skype, Ventrilo, Teamspeak, we know these things are used regularly and that’s fine. Our concerns are when programs interact with the game (during the champion select lobby experience for example) and prompt you with overlays that say “Hey, people on your team are running XYZ software. Click here to chat with them.” That’s where our concerns come in as this is doing several things, including breaking the “should not interfere with the player experience from Play to End of Match Screen”.

I also want to point out you’re perfectly fine to have curse voice installed and use it with other games, we wont ding you for simply having it. We’re even working with them to hopefully find a solution where everyone, especially the players, win.



[ Off-topic ] Why are you working on voice chatting instead of fixing drophacks?


Phreak Button Rioter Phreak: I can promise you that the network engineers are not the ones handling Riot-Developer relations, or detailing Third-Party-Programs rulings.





[ Question ] Why not add your own voice chat option to the game?


Riot Sargonas Button Rioter Riot Sargonas: Adding our own is something we are researching. Not saying we definitely will, or wont, but we are sincerely taking the community sentiment into consideration and investigating possibilities. What may come of that, who knows.. but it’s not something we’ve closed the book on.




Update on Soraka's Rework Banner


How is Soraka’s rework coming along? Game designer Vesh has some thoughts to share with the community on Soraka’s healer theme. 


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My ideas for Soraka


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[ Question ] Is it true Morello doesn’t want Soraka to be a healer?


Vesh Button Rioter Vesh: Actually, Morello has been the one who has really been driving the vision of her remaining as a healer above all other things, at any cost.

pls nobody tell him i told u dis. it would ruin his reputation of hating healerz


 

[ Follow-up ] So Soraka will remain a dedicated healer?


Vesh Button Rioter Vesh: That’s the goal . We sat down and said “what would we be willing to sacrifice to make Soraka the best healer we can” and we decided the answer was everything (if we had to).

 

 

[ Question ] How do you balance a healer to not stay back and just heal everyone from safety?


Vesh Button Rioter Vesh: This is absolutely the biggest risk with a healing champion. Heals undermine action and make it feel pointless to engage with the enemy. One way we are looking at solving this is the idea of the “infuse healer” who martyrs herself by giving up her health to an ally. Ideally, she has some interactive way to regenerate her health if she is successful (for instance, some form of offensive spell with adequate counterplay). If you make the healer more at risk as they heal (by making them at lower and lower health) then the “kill the healer” gameplay becomes much more realizable.



[ Question ] Will she have both health and mana costs?


Vesh Button Rioter Vesh: It would probably also need a mana cost to make Soraka not feel bad about buying all the mana items that we push supports towards. I’ll be able to talk more about what is working and what types of things we’re trying as we build more confidence in the direction. Right now we are really just exploring whether this healing pattern can work and feel fair and impactful for both teams.



[ Question ] Will you keep Starcall unchanged?


Vesh Button Rioter Vesh: Starcall is literally just a stat-check. It also tells Soraka to build tanky and stand in the middle of the fight. These things directly conflict with the goals of making an interactive character who can also be a best-in-class healer as her unique support niche.




[ Question ] Why not add risk to healing by making Soraka’s heal melee-ranged?


Vesh Button Rioter Vesh: Haha, don’t want to talk about specifics too much while we are still uncofident, but that’s literally the change I made for this week’s testing. It solves that problem to some degree but feels realllly bad as Soraka when people are over walls or running from you and you can’t help them. (trying a new passive that might help with this though)



[ Opinion ] Soraka’s pushing strengths are a big part of her niche in lane


Vesh Button Rioter Vesh: Didn’t say she wouldn’t still have that aspect. The auto-target starcall that just hits stuff for damage can’t stay though. Can still find ways to preserve the pushing aspect without sacrificing interactive gameplay.



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New theme for Baron’s pit




[ Update ] More ideas for Diana


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gypsylord Button Rioter Gypsylord: Hey guys,

Thanks a ton for all the feedback. Am reading through the whole thread.

Again, it’s unlikely these changes will happen. I’m just spitballing with you guys to better understand Diana’s identity and what could be done with her.

Some general trends I’m picking up:
Assassin pattern would be missed.
What’s a “fighter” anyways and how does that help define a champ’s identity?
R damage spike at 6 would be important to laning and sorely missed.
Maybe switch R and E?
If she doesn’t just kill a guy how does she survive in a fight?

Will try to respond to some of this stuff later this evening when I get more time. Gotta get back to work on next champ D:



[ Question ] How are Sona and Sion’s reworks coming alone?


MeddlerButton Rioter Meddler: Actively in progress is about all I can say at the moment. For Sona timing’s going to depend on availability of art support once possible design changes are locked down. Sion on the other hand’s a really large job (same amount of work as a new champion in many regards, but with more skins) so he’s coming along well but a mammoth project.



[ Follow-up ] Sona rework


MeddlerButton Rioter Meddler: We’re investigating ways to address some issues with her auras at the moment (how can we can that power more appreciable, get some additional skill differentiation). Some more details/discussion here.




[ Update ] Darius Rework


morello Button Rioter Morello: These are very specific and not ready to talk in detail about those (I always think the details are pretty mutable anyhow!). But I can answer a few queastions:

  • What about bleed damage? I think Bleed Damage should be rewarded more in the skill damage ramp than the bleeds. Maybe at higher levels is could go up over the current amount, but I’d imagine the bleed damage itself wouldn’t be seeing huge increases.

  • Will he get tankiness? In this Darius model, he actually needs to be very tanky – agreed. We’re requiring him to spend more time in combat to score kills, so more tankiness is required to get him to be able to do that. Some of this would be itemization, some maybe in skills, or base stats.

  • His kiting issue will NOT be addressed – on purpose. This version of Darius would eventually win any long fight. The key play to deal with Darius is to peel him and keep him off you. I think being kitable is a fine weakness, and there’s quite a few champs with moveblocks who can be played for those players who hate being kited 🙂

Does this help?



Thoughts on Headhunter Caitlyn’s looks


My criticism of Headhunter Caitlyn


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Riot Whist Button Rioter Riot Whist: Headhunter Cait is just the headhunter line (which is heavily predator inspired) and is not made to be a future-tech skin.

This doesn’t close the door to a future/mecha/battlecast/pulsefire/whatever kind of skin at all. I’d love to work on a future tech Caitlyn skin, though I’d prefer to wait until after her VU.


Also in defense of cleavage/miniskirt…
That’s Cait. Take a peek at the base model, big boobs and a miniskirt. You’re noticing her boobs more probably because the texture work is better and they look like boobs, not a shelf. Part of the task of Skins team is to make sure skins still look like the base champion. We are looking into addressing some of the concerns though.


A lot of the complaints about the skin seem more like a discussion about Cait as a character and would fit more into a VU discussion. We here at Riot all agree (at least those I’ve spoken with) that a Sheriff probably shouldn’t have a miniskirt.

 


[ Question ] Will we have a better explosion animation for the Nexus when the game is over?


RiotForScienceButton Rioter RiotForScience: Yup I can though I am certain that the end-of-game-ceremony is stilll work-in-progress





[ Update ] Indicators for Blue/Red buffs on Summoner’s Rift


Button Rioter Les Nomerables: We’ll be creating new ones later in the process 🙂



Riot Games paying employees to quit


Link to announcement (scroll a bit down).


Riot WhistButton Rioter Riot Whist: I expect utilizing this program to be a fairly rare thing thing as stated we are very careful with hires.

This is something other companies like google and amazon have done for years now. It’s a win for both sides, we don’t have new employees who aren’t enjoying their job not giving it their all, and they don’t have to hang around at a job they don’t like.


Riot’s an amazing place to work for a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean it’s for everybody.


We aren’t paying people to leave, Riot doesn’t initiate this. The new hire is the one who decides to leave and get money for it.



[ Follow-up ]


Riot WhistButton Rioter Riot Whist: It’s only for new hires in their first 60 days. If they’re doing a terrible job, we will let them go with no pay if need be (though I doubt we’d ever consider firing in the first 60 days and they’d have adequate warning they need to up their game first). It’s up to THEM to decide if they want to leave.

I don’t know where this elaborate sketchy scheme came about, but Riot would not do this. No sane company would do this.
If you aren’t working out with the company we let you go. There’s no “hey you’re going to get fired in a few months”. That would be a really dumb move.



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


 

News Update June 4

 

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Recent News

 

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Upcoming Champion Updates Banner

Here are the Champions who have been and will be the focal points for the rework team over this patch and Patch 4.10.

 

RiotSeb Button Rioter RiotSeb: Hey guys,

RiotSeb back with some info on Champion Update projects headed to Live / PBE with the current patch cycle.

 

 

Karthus New Portrait

 The Karthus Visual Update is headed to live! With the help of your feedback we made several changes to Karthus during his time on PBE, mostly centered on clarity but with a little swag mixed in for good measure.

 Some of you had expressed concern about losing Karthus’ abilities within each other due to color similarity, and internally we wanted to make sure players could tell the difference between abilities cast by friendly/enemy Karthuses (Karthi?). We decided to kill two Teemos with one axe by adding friendly and enemy team-color indicators to Karthus’ basic abilities, so they should be more distinguishable when you’ve got spells flying all over the screen. We’ve also done some optimization work on Defile, as it was originally a bit performance-heavy and visually noisy given how often it’s used.

 We also saw some requests for global VO on Requiem; the main issue there is that Karthus’ R lines are pretty dang long so as to match the channel time, and long global VO could turn annoying very quickly when you’re hearing it (not to mention dying to it) every couple minutes. We definitely liked the idea though, so we added a global, evil laugh to Requiem that’ll crank up the feeling of impending doom no matter where your enemies are on the map.

 As I’ve mentioned previously, we’re committed to following through on Champion Updates post-Live and making sure their foundations are solid. With Karthus, we’re keeping an eye on couple areas such as whether his frenetic casting causes VO overlap and whether his clearer Q effect results in the ol’ lich needing a bit more power.

 

Skarner New Portrait

 We’ve been working on Skarner for a while now, and in addition to some of the gameplay updates we’ve discussed previously we also had time to flesh out his thematic through some art upgrades and a brand new passive.

 While continuing to avoid Skarner’s old gameplay problems, we’re looking to increase his power with more CC and stickiness as well as enable him to consistently bring value to his team even when behind. To that end, Crystal Slash now grants Skarner stacking Movement Speed, and the scorpion is sporting a new passive that stacks on enemies every time he hits them with a spell – at 3 stacks, Skarner’s next attack applies bonus damage and a short stun.

 Skarner’s new passive obviously required some new VFX, and we decided to take the opportunity to roll together some other key art updates. In addition to the obligatory passive particle, Skarner has received a Texture Update as well as a touched-up shield particle on his W.

 If you’d like to dig deeper into Skarner’s approaching update you can head on over to his PBE thread.

 

Nidalee New Portrait

 With her nuclear-tipped spears and incredible escapability, Nidalee’s been a contentious champion for a long time, and we’ve been working on a Gameplay Update focused on toning down the frustration of playing against her and giving Nidalee players more diverse gameplay options and decision points.

 To that end, we knew we wanted to reduce the damage potential of Javelin Toss as well as tone down Nidalee’s overall safety (especially in prolonged chases) and force her to balance escape potential against the ability to finish off opponents. Doing so gave us the opportunity to diversify her offensive arsenal and make Cougar form a more co-equal partner in Nidalee’s engagements – furthered by the fact that Cougar form is now available right from level 1. The defining feature of this update is a new ‘Hunt’ mechanic , which is applied by Nidalee’s human-form abilities and both increases her speed towards Hunted targets and provides additional options and power to her Cougar-form abilities. Along with some other changes, this mechanic links Nidalee’s two forms into a more cohesive package and gives her the chance to feel incredibly agile and dangerous in her ability to close the distance and take an enemy down.

 Head over to the Nidalee PBE thread if you’d like to see the current specifics of her upcoming Gameplay Update.

 

 

[ Suggestion ] Let Karthus players hear his VO during “Requiem” regardless of where the camera is

 

RiotSeb Button Rioter RiotSeb: That’s a good idea, thanks for mentioning it! Will have to look into this possibility because based on what I can think of right now, he’d be the only champion that uses it (unless we want to do Ashe/Jinx/Ezreal ults as well or something…)

 

 

 

[ Trolling ] How do you pronounce Karthus?

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: The only true way to say it is Kartoos (like caboose).

 

 

 

Ququroon Button Rioter Ququroon: Karrrrtoooooooooooooos! It’s the rolling of the R that really makes it.

 

 

 

ohmikegoodness Button Rioter ohmikegoodness: I personally refer to Karthus as CLOTHUS due to all the hours put into animating all his tassels. Soraka takes a close second to difficulty in animating!

 

 

 

[ Question ] Can the stunned target from Skarner’s passive look similar to how they’re encased in Skarner’s ultimate?

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: The crystallized effect is similar, check it out on PBE when the servers come up.

 

 

 

 

Goals for Soraka's Rework Banner

 The discussion regarding Soraka’s announced rework continues. Can she stay a healer in a game where the archetype is so problematic?

 

Relevant Collection

 

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Regarding the recent changes to Soraka

 

morello Button Rioter Morello: Thanks for the post. Looking at it, here’s what our analysis is;

1) Nerfing Solo Soraka was needed, and we think this was the right decision. “Countering” based on a specific pick limits the pool of picks additionally – let’s not confuse hard-countering and counterplay. Solo Soraka, pre-nerf, had a 58% winrate, which does cause us to ask questions.

2) Support Soraka was already weak, and this is an additional kick to her. We know this feels bad, and we may look at this.

3) Soraka will get a rework this year. There’s this thread in where we talk a bit more about our plans here.

Soraka is overdue for this – we do think she’s a bad experience for people who want to play her, and we need to fix that. That being said, her current kit cannot be powerful and healthy simultaneously – exactly why we’ve reprioritized her rework to this year. We’re going to do everything we can to keep her as a healer – though that will require MAJOR shifts to her kit.

A healer may be able to work under a different model. The MMO Priest model cannot be what it is (I’ve written litanies on why this is the case). If anyone can do healer in League, it needs to be done on Soraka.

 

 

[ Question ] What are your plans for Soraka?

 

morello Button Rioter Morello: If healer is possible (I think it might be), then we’ll find it for Soraka. If it’s not, though, then the choices would become:

  • Violate Soraka’s identity and make her good, but not a healer
  • Never rework Soraka, but keep her weak since she fucks up the game 🙂

This Sophie’s choice has stayed our hand on it too long already, so we want to rip the bandaid off and make a choice. Starting with exploring (different) healing models, then working from there.

Soraka will not be the same as she is today.

Soraka will hopefully be a healer.

 

 

PBE Nidalee Gameplay Update Banner

Nidalee‘s recently announced rework will soon be available for testing! Here’s her new kit in detail.

 

 

RiotRepertoir Button Rioter RiotRepertoir: Hey guys,

Nidalee has some gameplay changes headed her way, largely in the form of a modified passive and its interactions throughout her kit. These changes help reinforce a pattern of interaction betweenNidalee and opponents, but since the changes are quite dramatic, they required changes to numbers and timings throughout her kit. I’ll be popping in and out of this thread while she’s on PBE to collect everyone’s feedback on her, so please feel free to leave it in the comments and I’ll try to get back to you.

While all feedback is welcome at this point, the stuff that would be particularly useful is:

  • Are Pounce and Swipe behaving the way you’d expect?
  • Are you having difficulty using her Hunt Pounce effectively?
  • How has your laning pattern changed compared to Live (both as and against Nidalee)?
  • How do you feel in roaming cases using your modified brush passive?
  • Did you notice any bugs on her?
  • What items are you guys building on her to be successful?
  • How was your experience building mainly Ability Power items?
  • How was your experience building more bruiser items?
  • Generally, where do you feel she is too strong/weak?

Thanks in advance for all your guys’ thoughts,

Repertoir

With that said, if you’re interested in the full changelist, here it is below:

General:

  • Basic attack hit timing adjusted to better match visual
  • Death Recap now properly differentiates between Javelin Toss and Takedown, and Bushwhack and Pounce
  • (R) Aspect of the Cougar now has 4 ranks and is automatically trained at level 1
  • UI elements added to support modified passive
  • Movement Speed increased to 340 from 335

 

Prowl 

 Prowl [ Passive ]

 

 

  • Movement Speed in brush reduced to 10% from 15%
  • Movement Speed in brush is now increased to 30% while moving toward visible enemy champions within 5500 range
  • Damaging champions with Javelin Toss and Bushwhack causes her to Hunt these targets for 4 seconds, granting Prowl’s increased Movement Speed toward them and enhancing her next Takedown, Pounce, and Swipe against them
  • Nidalee ignores unit collision while Prowl and Hunt are active

 

Javelin_Toss 

Javelin Toss [ Q ]

 

 

  • Minimum base damage reduced to 50/75/100/125/150 from 55/95/140/185/230
  • Maximum base damage reduced to 150/225/300/375/450 from 137/237/350/462/575
  • Minimum Ability Power ratio reduced to 40% from 65%
  • Maximum Ability Power ratio reduced to 120% from 162.5%
  • Cooldown adjusted to 8/7/6/5 with rank in (R) Aspect of the Cougar from 6 at all ranks
  • Now deals maximum damage at 1300 range rather than 1500
  • Missile visuals adjusted to better match player expectation
  • Applies the Hunt debuff to enemy champions hit

 

Takedown 

Takedown [ Cougar Q ]

 

 

  • Deals 33% increased damage to Hunted targets
  • Minimum base damage reduced to 4/20/50/90 from x/40/70/100
  • Maximum non Hunt base damage reduced to 10/50/125/225 from x/120/210/300
  • Maximum Hunt base damage introduced at 13/67/167/300
  • Maximum non Hunt Total Attack Damage ratio reduced to 250% from 300%
  • Maximum Hunt Total Attack Damage ratio introduced at 333%
  • Minimum non Hunt Ability Power ratio introduced at 24%
  • Maximum non Hunt Ability Power ratio introduced at 60%
  • Maximum Hunt Ability Power ratio introduced at 80%
  • Now deals entirely magic damage instead of entirely physical damage
  • Maximum damage is now dealt when the target is at 20% current Health, up from 0%
  • Nidalee gains 75 Attack Range while Takedown is active

 

Bushwhack 

Bushwhack [ W ]

 

 

  • Ground duration reduced to 2 minutes from 4
  • Debuff duration reduced to 4 seconds from 8
  • Now only affects 1 enemy per trap
  • Flat base damage reduced to 20/40/60/80/100 from 80/125/170/215/260
  • Flat damage Ability Power ratio removed (was 40%)
  • No longer shreds enemy Armor and Magic Resist
  • Now additionally deals 12/14/16/18/20% of the target’s current Health over its duration
  • Now additionally deals 1% of the target’s current Health per 50 Ability power over its duration
  • Cooldown reduced to 17/15/13/11/9 from 18 at all ranks
  • Mana cost reduced to 40/45/50/55/60 from 60/75/90/105/120
  • Team color indicators added to better indicate trigger radius
  • Persistent pulsing particle adjusted for better visibility
  • Applies the Hunt debuff to enemy champions hit

 

Pounce 

Pounce [ Cougar W ]

 

 

  • Now moves toward the player’s cursor rather than Nidalee’s current facing
  • Base damage reduced to 50/100/150/200 from x/125/175/225
  • Ability Power ratio reduced to 30% from 40%
  • Cooldown increased to 5 seconds from 3.5
  • Can now be used to jump to Hunted targets at up to 700 range by hovering the cursor over the Hunted target
  • Killing a unit while in Cougar form reduces Pounce’s current cooldown to 1.5 seconds if it is currently higher

 

Primal_Surge 

Primal Surge [ E ]

 

 

  • Base healing increased to 55/95/135/175/215 from 50/85/120/155/190
  • Ability Power ratio reduced to 50% from 70%
  • Attack Speed buff duration reduced to 6 seconds from 7

 

Swipe 

Swipe [ Cougar E ]

 

 

  • Now targets toward the player’s cursor rather than Nidalee’s current facing
  • Base damage reduced to 70/130/190/250 from x/150/225/300
  • Ability Power ratio reduced to 45% from 60%
  • Swiping a Hunted target reduces Pounce’s current cooldown to 1.5 seconds if it is currently higher
  • Cooldown reduced to 5 seconds from 6

 

Aspect_of_the_Cougar 

Aspect of the Cougar [ R ]

 

 

  • No longer grants 20 Movement Speed while in Cougar form
  • Cooldown adjusted to 5.00/3.75/2.50/1.25 from 4.00 at all ranks
  • Nidalee gains vision of all Hunted targets while in Cougar form”

 

 

[ Question ] Is there a range indicator circle for her Hunted Pounce, like with Rengar’s leap?

 

RiotRepertoirButton Rioter RiotRepertoir: There are actually two UI elements for enhanced Pounce that only Nidalee sees while Hunting.

  1. A circle range indicator for Hunt’s improved Pounce
  2. A directional tether between Nidalee and Hunted champions that swaps from dark red to bright green when Nidalee gets in range for the improved Pounce.

 

RiotSeb Button Rioter RiotSeb: Yes, there are new targeting effects to help Nidalee players use their Hunt Pounce more effectively and take advantage of the boosted range. Please give us feedback if it’s not working out for you, once it hits PBE!

 

 

 

[ Question ] Will Nidalee be getting new spell effects with this rework?

 

RiotSeb Button Rioter RiotSeb: Yes, there are new targeting effects to help Nidalee players use their Hunt Pounce more effectively and take advantage of the boosted range. Please give us feedback if it’s not working out for you, once it hits PBE!

 

 

 

[ Question ] Can you explain the range changes to Javelin Toss?

 

RiotRepertoir Button Rioter RiotRepertoir: Javelin Toss still has a range of 1500, but it achieves its max damage once it has traveled 1300 range. I knew there was a limit on the amount of damage Javelin Toss could deal, and it needed to be lower, but I wanted to keep the spell satisfying, so the last 200 units is basically a cushion where the max damage is dealt. Takedown base damage probably does look a bit wonky, but keep in mind that most of the damage of Takedown is in the Total Attack Damage ratio. As such, the base damage at rank 1 R is more like 4 plus her Total Attack Damage.

 

 

[ Question ] Why is Bushwhack now dealing so much damage and not shredding resistances?

 

RiotRepertoir Button Rioter RiotRepertoir: Bushwhack is still in tuning, so maybe they’re too strong right now; that’s quite possible and can be tuned to not be obnoxious I believe. One of the goals of these changes is to reduce invisible power in her kit, which is why the shreds were removed from her traps. However, it wasn’t really the goal to make traps weak, and my experience working on her has taught me that Bushwhack is an integral part of her fighting tankier champions. Also, traps have about the same cooldown at rank 1, and they are now quite visually loud on the ground, so avoiding them will have to be a conscious effort, but it shouldn’t be the case that you couldn’t see them out there openly in the lane.

 

 

[ Question ] Won’t a 700 range Pounce from Hunted be too overwhelming?

 

RiotRepertoir Button Rioter RiotRepertoir: In practice you will very rarely get two empowered 700 range Pounces within the time of the Pounce reset. Most often, you will get the empowered one to go in, use your Swipe on the Hunted target, and then have a 375 range Pounce to jump out.

 

 

 

[ Question ] If minions still activate Bushwhack traps, how can this become an integral part of Nidalee’s rotation in lane?

 

 RiotRepertoir Button Rioter RiotRepertoir: Traps are more about setup to me. While playing this Nidalee, players will be taking aggressive action with their Javelin Toss, forcing enemies to dodge them to not get Hunted. Bushwhack traps, on the other hand, require some foresight into where they should be placed for the purposes of Hunting. For example, if I’m laning against a melee champion that may try to jump on me, I probably want to have one around my feet to get damage and Hunt proc on him if he does, but if I’m against a ranged champion, I may trap the sides of the lane to corral them into a smaller part of the lane where I can line up Javelins.

 

 

[ Follow-up ] What if two targets simultaneously trigger Bushwhack? Does it apply the debuff to both?

 

RiotRepertoir Button Rioter RiotRepertoir: Bushwhack traps always look inside their radius for champions first and minions second, so you shouldn’t ever trigger it on a minion when there is also a champion in its activation range.

 

 

 

[ Question ] If she’s roaming during laning, what’s her mechanism for being able to set up a Hunt?

 

RiotRepertoir Button Rioter RiotRepertoir: Same as any other point in the game I suppose. Hit a spear/trap, switch to cougar and jump to them.

 

 

 

 

[ Question ] Is Nidalee jungle intended to be possible/viable with these changes?

 

RiotRepertoir Button Rioter RiotRepertoir: It wasn’t intended insofar as we tried to make it a thing, but we don’t really think we need to try to stop it from happening either, since it doesn’t seem all that abusive from the get-go.

 

 

 

[ Question ] With these changes, what will stop people from playing her exactly the same as before?

 

RiotRepertoir Button Rioter RiotRepertoir: I think the reduced effectiveness in playing this way will mostly likely cause people to adjust their playstyles. There will still be spear throwing, but a much larger number of her kills will come from getting in your face.

 

 

 

Skarner Rework (Again) Banner

Riot really doesn’t know what to do with Skarner, as evidenced by his second (and, frankly, haphazard) rework. Keep reading for full details on his new kit.

 

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: Hey Skarners,

Skar is up on PBE with a few gameplay and art changes. We’re increasing Skarner’s power with more CC and stickiness without creating the old gameplay problems. Additionally, he will be able to consistently bring value to his team, even when behind. He also has upgraded character textures and some new particles for his passive and W.

Full List of Changes:

 

Energize

 

[NEW] Crystallizing Sting [ Passive ]

 

 

  • Skarners damaging spells apply Crystal Poison to enemy Champions and large monsters
  • If Skarner attacks a target with 3 stacks of Crystal Poison he will deal an additional 20-105 damage and stun the target for 0.5/0.75/1 seconds
  • After a stun, targets will not receive Crystal Poison for 6 seconds

 

Crystal_Slash

 

Crystal Slash [ Q ]

 

 

  • [NEW] Crystal Energy Bonus: Skarner now gains 3/4/5/6/7% Movement speed per stack
  • [NEW] Auto attacks reduce Crystal Slash’s cooldown by .5s (doubled against Champions)
  • Base physical damage reduced from 25/40/55/70/85 to 20/30/40/50/60
  • Base physical ratio reduced from 0.8 to 0.4
  • Bonus magic damage reduced from 24/36/48/60/72 to 20/30/40/50/60
  • Bonus magic ratio reduced from 0.4 to 0.2

 

Crystalline_Exoskeleton

 

Crystalline Exoskeleton [ W ]

 

 

  • Cooldown lowered from 16 to 13 seconds

 

Fracture

 

Fracture [ E ]

 

 

  • Base damage lowered from 80/120/160/200/240 to 40/60/80/100/120
  • AP ratio lowered from 0.7 to 0.4
  • Cooldown lowered from 14 to 12 seconds

 

Impale

 

Impale [ R ]

 

 

  • Cooldown lowered from 130/120/100 to 100/90/80
  • Impale consumes all stacks of Crystal Poison and deals 50/75/100 damage per stack consumed to the target

 

 

[ Opinion ] His ultimate consuming his passive stacks without a stun seems counter-intuitive

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: When we didn’t have the ult consuming the passive stacks we were seeing Ult into follow up passive stun pretty much every time. This was creating really long hard CC chains beyond the duration that we typically allow.

With this in mind, we compensate him if he uses an ult on a target with stacks of the passive by adding additional damage per stack.

 

 

[ Follow-up ] Does Skarner gain the 6 second cooldown if this is the case?

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: The stun cooldown is not applied in this case.

 

 

 

 

[ Question ] Can Skarner still Q during his ult?

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: Yes he can.

 

 

 

 

[ Question ] Does proccing the stun on Skarner’s passive consume the current stacks of Crystal Poison?

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: It does, he will have to stack it up again for the next stun on the same target.

 

 

 

 

[ Question ] How long do the stacks of Crystal Poison last?

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: The stacks last for 5 seconds right now.

 

 

 

 

[ Question ] Why do the damage numbers seem so low?

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: The great thing is, that if he is only deficient in damage numbers that is a very easy fix. The mechanics changes here (more cc and stickiness) are the main focus to get right.

We will definitely keep an eye on him and make adjustments to his overall dps after more testing.

 

 

[ Question ] How will these changes affect Skarner’s gameplay?

 

RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: It does change his feel somewhat in that he now has a very tangible goal that he is shooting for in a gank/skirmish or any duel. Reaching the stun will often secure kills or turn a fight.

At the same time, the Q changes (movement speed per stack) actually make him feel much more like his old self. If I start Qing on a target, I’m going to stick to them pretty well.

AD bruiser builds are still viable with his high base AD, but generally he will take slightly longer to kill enemies but have much better time sticking and CCing.

 

 

 

 

State of Kha'Zix post Patch 4 point 9 Banner

Kha’Zix was hit hard in Patch 4.9. Why were the decisions to nerf him made and where does this place him in the meta?

 

 

[ QQ ] Why did you kill Kha’Zix’s playstyle as a tanky bruiser?

 

morello Button Rioter Morello: If you were planning on running in the frontline and snowballing through a team, yep, you can’t do that now.

If you wanted to flank, assassinate and escape, you can still do that.

 


 

[ Question ] Were these changes made to remove bruiser Kha’Zix from the game?

 

morello Button Rioter Morello: Everything that made bruiser Kha’Zix good is gone – that’s the entire point. Assassin Kha’ should still be in good shape.

 

 

 

 

[ Question ] Can you clarify why his ultimate evolution was nerfed so much?

 

morello Button Rioter Morello: Damage Reduction on Assassins is OP* 🙂

 

 



Pings, Refusing to Communicate Banner

A concern has sprung up among some players that if they decide to mute their team to avoid tilting, they can be banned for refusing to communicate.

 

 

[ Question ] Can I get banned for not using chat to communicate with my teammates?

 

WookieeCookie Riotlink Button WookieeCookie: You won’t get banned for not communicating in chat with your teammates.

Generally I don’t chat much myself, I just use pings to communicate my intentions or alerts to others.

Even if you mute someone, they will still be able to see your pings so you can effectively communicate with them.

Getting use to the ping tool can be a bit weird at first, but to be honest now that I’m comfortable with it I can communicate to my team a lot faster than actually typing things out.

 

 

[ Suggestion ] Mute players, but don’t tell them you have, and communicate with pings only

 

WookieeCookie Riotlink Button WookieeCookie: Blazing Salvo has a lot of great points, but I wanted to reinforce his first point. There’s a good way to mute people, and a bad way. Make sure you’re not super passive aggresive about it and let everyone know that you’re muting them. Don’t threaten or abuse them and then mute them. Don’t say you’re muting them, not mute them, and then verbally abuse them when they see what you say, etc etc.

Be the bigger player, if someone is abusive, just report them and move on. No need to feed the trolls.

 

 

[ Question ] How do YOU deal with negativity in-game?

 

WookieeCookie Riotlink Button WookieeCookie: I try to avoid muting people as much as possible as well. I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. But I have seen some players start to trend towards the negative in certain matches and rather than take the morale hit I just mute them and play on. It helps me play cooperatively with them throughout the match and keeps me focused on the game at hand without having to see their negativity.

 

 

Grumpy Monkey Returns Banner


Senior Character Artist Grumpy Monkey is up on the forums to answer some questions about where he’s been and what he’s been working on.

 

 

[ Q&A ] Grumpy Monkey returns to forums

 

grumpy monkey Riotlink Button Grumpy Monkey: Hey! I am right here! Sorry for the radio silence. I have been super busy! We got Heimerdinger,Twitch, Karthus, Some Skarner Texture update love on the way, and of course we have been toiling away at the big guy Mr. Sion himself. in fact here is some concept art of new Sion to get you pumped!http://imgur.com/t67yPai Done by Feral Pony. Who knew he was such a legit artist? Anyways we have some great stuff lined up for the rest of the year. Thanks for missing me on the forums! I sometimes forget I need to visit good ol GD from time to time. If you want to hit me up directly you can always get my attention at @riotgrumpmonkey on the twitters.

 

 

grumpy monkey Riotlink Button Grumpy Monkey: I want to answer some of your questions best I can.

1. How is work going for the Champs? Pretty good. 

You know just making them and stuff. No biggie.

2.How many do you actively work on at a given time? 

Well, I like to work on three and a given time. One in final polish, one in hard core production mode, and one in early conceptual phase. It’s like juggling.

3.A Rioter said not too long ago that there were 10 VUs last year and that there should be more this year. Since Rioters have said that they’ve gotten the team more together and running more efficiently, will there be 10 or more VUs this year?

“Should” is a funny word isn’t it? We have a lot planned, I just hope we can get everything we set out to do done! Bless that Rioter’s heart for being so ambitious though.

4.Is Grump Monkey the only one who works on sculpting the champs and their skins?

Well mostly yes. I get much needed helps from time to time from Mr. Iron Stylus and Concept help from various Concept geniuses on the team (Riot Teatime, Huge n Fast) But the sculpting is largely done and supervised by yours truly.

5.Will Pantheon get a VU this year? If so, has he been started?

He is not Highest on the list. His Dragon slayer skin certainly made us re consider though.

6.Will Kassadin get a VU this year? If so, has he been started? 

We have a few loose ends we need to tie up before we can get to him , but he is in our crosshairs, and we can’t wait to get to him.

7.Malzahar is not discussed often but his model is in serious need for a VU. I know you guys will get to all champs eventually, but has he been discussed?

I talked about him just today! I think he might be more in line for a TU, just a fresh coat of paint and some model tweaks rather than a full on VU.

8.Do you think you can give Pantheon a traditional skin? Just for the fact that the team can go all out making him this original creative looking badass armored Rakkor, and fans who are attached to his “greek” look wont be upset. It’s a win win for everyone. Please?

Ideally I would hope we theme the Rakkor around what pantheon currently is. I would want to make Pantheon feel new, but still very familiar. But thats just me. If we decide that the Rakkor are visually very different from what pantheon currently is and want him to represent that new direction, then I think a traditional skin is in order. We will see when we cross that bridge though.

9.How’s the Taric and Sion progress going?

Taric is in progress, very very early steps to be honest…. But Sion is my focus these days, and he’s going great. I’m Really happy with how he’s turning out so far.

10.What do you love about your job?

GREAT QUESTION!!! I love how fast things move, I never get bored. I love that I can make things that millions of people appreciate. I love showing My wife and kids stuff that I worked on when it goes live, and I love the people I work with.

11.What about your job frustrates you?

I hate my Commute lol. I also wish I could get stuff done faster, but with such a huge game we try our best to be really really careful that what we release is quality stuff, so I understand. I also get frustrated with Ironstylus’s hair. It’s so perfect. He never has a bad hair day.
Hope I answered your questions good enough!

 

 

Single Posts banner


 

 

Champion Updates & Refund Requests

 

 SquidMoxRiotlink Button SquidmoX: Hey all,

Over the past two years we’ve been ramping up our ability to steadily modernize champions’ art, background and gameplay, to the point where champion updates have become an integral part of the overall evolution of League of Legends. When we first began making these updates we were mindful of the fact that we were altering content to which players might be very attached, and with that in mind we agreed to the handful of refund requests from the passionate players who owned updated champions and who sent a ticket to Player Support. 

Back then we could do these individual gestures of goodwill because the number of refund requests was pretty low. Requests came largely from players who mained the champ. Once the policy was made public, there was a 10,000%+ spike in requests. We looked at the data and found that a very large majority of requests were from players who weren’t actively invested in the champion pre-update, but were trying to get back RP or IP without using a refund token.

To give you an idea of the impact, every recent champion update has resulted in a storm of support tickets larger than what we typically see from a full day of major server instability. Combine this with the fact that we’re on pace to double our annual number of champion updates (6 in 2013, already 7 in first half of 2014) and it begins to significantly impact Player Support’s ability to handle critical issues like account recoveries and tech support.

As a result of these factors, we’ve decided that beginning with the Karthus champion update, we will stop processing refund requests for updated champions. It would be awesome to have a process that specifically targets those players significantly impacted by an update and doesn’t interfere with Player Support’s ability to quickly solve vital support issues, but we are far off from a good solution to this.

We know this may be disappointing for some players, particularly those actively playing and invested in updated champions. To help address this issue, the champion update team is working on increased transparency when it comes to which champions they’re working on. Additionally, the Player Support team has created a central hub with info on past, present, and future champion updates. These efforts should both help you plan your purchases and use of refund tokens and give you better places to voice your feedback and help us fine-tune updates. 

If you have any questions about this change, please leave them below and we’ll do our best to address them.

 

 

[ Twitter ] Will there be a new Caitlyn skin this year?

 

 

 

[ Question ] Why was Patch 4.9 so large (~860 Mb) ?

 

Riot Draggles Riotlink Button Riot Draggles: The audio engine updates are most of this patch – imagine you have a suitcase full of coats: adding content like skins and new champions are essentially putting socks in the suitcase – you can slip them in without disturbing too much of the contents. Changing something as deep and complex as the audio engine is like taking out all the coats and replacing them with towels – it’s a delicate process.

Okay, that wasn’t the most perfect metaphor but you get what I mean – gave me something to do while I was patching my own client 

 

 

[ Feedback ] Help Riot Spider choose a League tattoo!

 

Riot Spider Riotlink Button Riot Spider: Hey everyone! 

I like video games AND I like tattoos, and I was considering getting another tattoo…maybe even a League of Legends related one! What is some of your favorite iconic LoL artwork? If you have a LOL Tattoo (and it’s safe to post) – post it! 

If I do get one I will post it – but it will be awhile. I have to find the right person to do the work too.

*skitter*

 

 

[ Follow-up ]

 

Riot Spider Riotlink Button Riot Spider: I was thinking of silhouettes, or potentially something like an insignia from one of the factions. There are also some iconic objects that could be interesting too. I have a lot of material to draw from here…


There are a few posts I wanted to address though. 

People get tattoos for many reasons, often nobody else will really understand those reasons. I would argue that is the case for other forms of self expression too. Other people understanding them is great, but it isn’t really the point. 

I have been in game development for nearly 8 years. It has taken me around the world, allowed me to make amazing friends, and it has introduced me to countless new ideas – things I would never have understood if not for my being part of the gaming community. I will always have some things in common with millions of people around the world – I may never have really understood that without being part of it. Without any hyperbole, gaming has changed who I am as a person. 

I have one other tattoo on my right calf, so far. It’s related to the games I worked on previously, and it’s is extremely likely that decades from now very few people will understand what it means. Even now when people see it I often get questions about it, and that doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I didn’t get it for them, I got it for me. I earned it.

 

 

[ Question ] Where did you get the inspiration for Pentakill’s songs?

 

Anvilanche Riotlink Button ANVILANCHE: HAIL! 

AS REQUESTED. 

Happy to hear you like it. I can’t speak entirely to the influence of all the songs, but for my bit (The Prophecy) I imagined myself as something like Charon, the boatman, looking into a tide of souls. Just an old, gravelly hunch watching the jimmies of a billion souls get rustled at the rising of an unseen and ancient force.

 

 

[ Question] Why was I banned for ELO-boosting?

 

Keyru Riotlink Button Keyru: When investigating MMR Boosting cases we take a lot of time and thoroughness to confirm that the player was participating in these actions. The two accounts under your email were both punished for boosting another account that is not yours. When we do find boosters, we punish all accounts owned by them.

After looking into this case again today, I also found something quite interesting. It seems like both accounts that are under your current email have transferred ownership within the past 8 months. I’ve went forward with proactively locking them to go through our account recovery process. We can continue this conversation through your tickets.

 

 

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

 

 

Red Post Collection May 29 Banner


Official Announcements: One for All is Back with a Twist

Red Post Collection

Fan Art Showcase: All the Quinn Art in One Thread

Single Posts


Recent News:

 

PBE-29-May-Banner

PBE-23-May-Banner (1)

PBE-27-May-Banner

 

 

One For All is back with a twist Banner

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

 

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

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

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

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

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




DevBlog the design values of League Banner


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



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

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

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

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


Mastery


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

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


Meaningful Choice


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

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


Counterplay


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

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


Teamplay


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

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


Clarity


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

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


Evolution


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

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



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


 

Q: Why can’t we delete Teemo?



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

 

 



Q: Why is Clarity so bad?


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

 

 



Q: When will Mages be buffed?


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

Ducks




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


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



 

Follow-up:


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

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

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


 

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


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



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


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

 

 



Q: Are comebacks hard to design in League?


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

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


 

Q: Is LeBlanc problematic right now?


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

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

 



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


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

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


 

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


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

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

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

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

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


 

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


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



 

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


Button Rioter DanielZKlein: Good question!

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


 

Reminder: Design Philosophy vs Design Reality


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

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

 



Does Chat Restricting Work Banner


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


Relevant Red Post Collections


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


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



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


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

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



Q: How does chat restricting work?


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

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



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


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



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


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

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



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


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



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

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



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

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



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


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



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


Lyte Button Rioter Lyte: No.

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

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

 


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


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

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

 


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


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

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



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


Lyte Button Rioter Lyte: It doesn’t.






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


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

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



Twisted Treeline after Patch 4 point 8 Banner

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



Scarizard Button Rioter Scarizard: 

WARNING THIS POST IS PROLLY GON’ BE REAL LONG

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smite isn’t optional

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

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

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

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

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

Y No Madreds?

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

Turtling is too effective with AP Champions/Waveclear

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

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

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

Ichors OP 

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

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

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

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



All the Quinn Art Banner

This thread is like Christmas in May. Enjoy! 


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


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Color Blindness


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

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



List of improvements for Summoner’s Rift


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Fan Art in Full 3D of Diana


  • by Summoner Endesong, link to thread


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Fan Art of Diana Full 3D


 

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


 

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Riotchun Patch 4 point 9 Forecast Banner

Riotchun has shared on the forums what we can expect from Patch 4.9 in terms of balance.

 

 

Hi guys, here is Chun with 4.9 Patch Forecast, where I’ll be talking about the major issues we’re looking at in League of Legends. Keep in mind that the forecast is more about identifying problems that we’re looking at, and not promises of changes to come in each patch. Some changes might take longer than others!

 

Khazix New Portrait

 

As Jag mentioned in last forecast (http://community.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/live-gameplay/gTkfbmI6-48-live-gameplay-patch-forecast ), we have been working on Kha’Zix. Currently Kha’Zix is being played and built like a brute-force fighter who can initiate a team fight while also being able to survive to clean it up. Assassins in League need to rely on fighters or tanks to initiate fights before they take the opportunity to engage, but Kha’Zix is able to do it all by himself, which gives him a lot of free power. We’re looking at highlighting Kha’Zix’s assassin powers over his fighter abilities.

As a side goal, some of Kha’Zix’s evolutions are really powerful and certain ones are really weak (hello W), so we want to make all 4 of his evolutions compete with each other (maybe not equally, but situationally), so you can choose the evolution to adapt what you need it in certain phases of games.

 

Kassadin New Portrait

 

As a rework follow up, we’ve been keeping track of Kassadin as he continues to become a more and more dominant force. We think we released Kassadin in a good state but then gave him a little too much strength as we saw players struggling with the new kit. The buffs taught players how to play the updated Kass, so we’re peeling back the layers we added to get him back to a correct power level.

 

New Portrait Kayle

 

Kayle right now is being played as an AP-scaling supportive mobile ADC because of her consistent burst, her high ramping damage and her high utility. What this also does is give her very few weaknesses as she can shred everyone in the fight while staying just out of range to use her Intervention on a teammate. We’re looking at ways to give Kayle some real weaknesses to compensate for her high strengths so she needs to think about how she gets into the fray.

 

LeBlanc New Portrait

 

As mentioned in 4.7 forecast, we’re continuing to look into LeBlanc. Some of the things we like about LeBlanc are her high precision, her skill requirements, and her trickiness. Unfortunately she’s doing all of this along with having crazy high burst damage without any counterplay for the enemy. LeBlanc has so much damage that in competitive play she doesn’t even need a Deathfire Grasp to burst down enemies (and DFG is potentially overboard at doing this). This tells us that LeBlanc is scaling very well (too well?) as a burst champion, and we’re trying to find a way to balance her tricky / precise burst while making her fair to play against.

 

Braum New Portrait

 

As a follow -up to a newly released champion, Braum is a little too powerful at this point. We are happy with what he can do for his team in team fights as a shield man, but meanwhile he is getting very tanky too quickly and he’s a strong lane bully at same time. When we release champions we have to think about how players will get used to their playstyle, but people were mastering Braum very quickly so we’re keeping an eye on his performance across all levels of play.

 

New Portrait Pantheon

 

Grand Skyfall was always intended to be a high risk, high reward – a high damage global ability that’s inconsistent. We’ve never been a fan of Pantheon’s ability to cast spells while landing (which made his ult very reliable), but as he’s gotten more into the spotlight, we finally decided to make the fix (and then forgot to document it, which was a big mistake). Either way, we’ve fixed the bug with Pantheon’s ult where he could be affected by AoE abilities before he lands, but we’re still trying to find a good way to make Grand Skyfall feel good to use without directly buffing its power levels (Pantheon has actually been pretty stable from some of our internal statistics).

 

Jungle XP New Portrait

 

We have bigger plans for the jungle, but currently we’re seeing problems where junglers are getting really far ahead of the game, especially if they have a strong start. We think it might have to do with lane EXP versus monster EXP, as lane minion EXP doesn’t scale with average champion level, but jungle monster EXP does. Basically a snowballing jungler gets his teammates some kills, they get levels and bring up the average level of the game, and then the jungler gets even more experience as he clears camps for additional rewards. No other lanes get this kind of bonus, and we’ve always been aware of strong junglers controlling the pace of the game, so we’re looking for ways to tone that down.

 

 

Q: Isn’t the lower Jungle XP a nerf to tanky support junglers, who are already weak in the current meta?

 

SmashGizmo Button Rioter SmashGizmo: I get your concern here and just wanted to offer up a couple responses.

The first is that while it’s true that this will also be a slight nerf to jungle support tanks, the relative nerf is much lighter on them than it is on fighter/assassin junglers. Basically, this XP scaling ramped up as the game ramped up, meaning that it has a very minimal impact on the first 6 levels of the game and was mostly impacting the XP from camps in the mid to late game. During these later phases of the game, not only are Tanks slower at dedicated jungle farming, but they’re also spending more time ganking, assisting lanes, and donating camps to teammates than their damage dealing counterparts. So all in all, yes, their strength is slightly lower from this change than it was prior to this change, but they lost much less than the class that they are trying to compete with and thus get relatively stronger (slightly).

The second response I’ll offer up is that we’re still working on larger jungle projects aimed more directly at bringing Tank junglers back up to par with Fighters/Assassins. The change for XP in this patch is merely a response to a problematic trend we’re seeing, it’s not nearly large enough scale to be aimed at solving the larger issues that are causing Tanks to suffer in the Season 4 jungle. As I said above, I believe the net result of this change is a small relative benefit for Tank junglers, but this change is not aimed at the problem you’re stating and rather, we have a larger on-going project that is working towards the issues you’re seeing.

 

 

Q: Do you think these changes will solve the current issues with LeBlanc and Kayle?

 

RiotChun Button Rioter RiotChun: At this point, we are just doing experimental changes to LeBlanc/Kayle and there is a good chance that we will not release those changes for 4.9.

To be more specific, I personally believe LeBlanc’s damage is a little too high as she has above-average base damage and very-high AP ratio (3.7 ap ratio for a QRWE combo -_-). Changing the Mimic damage is a good direction to try but we are still trying to find a way to balance her tricky / precise burst while making her fair to play against as I mentioned in the OP.

For Kayle, it is not the case you are afraid of. There are high strengths of Kayle and she just needs some real weaknesses. Range reduction would be effective but we are still exploring.

 

 

Ymir Chat Restriction Banner

Chat restriction has been a hot topic this week, with thousands of players expressing confusion as to why they were suddenly punished. Ymir steps on the forums to clear some of the misconceptions about labeling people “toxic” in-game.

 

Relevant Red Post Collection

 

Lyte-Chat-Restrictions-Banner

 

 

Q: Why are you chat restricting people who flame with the intention of showing a teammate what they did wrong?

 

Ymir Button Rioter Ymir: What we want is to let you know other people don’t like playing with someone who is a constant critic. You’re not actually improving the game or the individual and that means anything you type is entirely negative.

If you can just let your flame end at your fingertips then, like the vast majority of players, you’ll be 100% fine and never experience a Chat Restriction or anything else.

 

 

Q: What should we do if we’re not allowed to critique a bad player / intentional troll ?

 

Ymir Button Rioter Ymir: What I wouldn’t do is get down to his level because there are still eight other people in the game who want to play the game and getting into a fight with someone who quite obviously isn’t thinking straight or is just confused is always a recipe for a disaster.

It’s quite obvious that dude made a bad call and is probably more angry with himself than with you.

I’d mute the guy and encourage the rest of my team before dropping a report. It doesn’t need to be an extreme and most people who play League of Legends have never encountered any form of punishment or warning. They constantly give advice, but they’re not critical in the way I tend to see people talking about their restrictions here are. 

If you’re using words like flame or witty to describe your critiques then you’re looking to own someone and not make them better players and that is a key difference.

 

 

How do Chat Restrictions work?

 

Ymir Button Rioter Ymir: Chat Restrictions actually have a lot going on, a misconception I’ve seen here is that it’s simply a set number of reports = punishment. There is more to it than that and you don’t have to worry about that guy who reports everyone because the system is elegant enough to pick it up.

The reason some of the higher numbers of both people with these and also 40+ games is down to the Tribunal changes and not the everyday system. We may have more going on with that in the future so we may not be done with waves just yet. One thing we can’t do and it’s a bit of a pickle for us is go into depth about numbers and levels of the system as if we talk too much about it the effectiveness is lessened as people attempt to game the system.

This has always been the case in any Player Behaviour initiative and it sucks because where we need transparency we can’t bring it as it has the potential to break things. This is far from just a Riot concern.

The main thing with Chat Restrictions is they are fast and have been in game for close to a year now. They are not a new feature and they’re pretty much proven through speed of action and having players think about where they allocate their communication to educate and make rapid improvements. Which has long been a request and long been a goal of ours.

We’re constantly monitoring this and one thing we have most definitely not seen in Chat restriction experiments is that they cause games to be lost. What we have seen is people with Chat Restrictions receiving less reports and improvement that makes the game a far better experience.

 

 

Q: Isn’t going alone in fights a sign of intentional trolling?

 

Ymir Button Rioter Ymir: As someone who everyone in the office can vouch does this with some regularity it isn’t about ruining the game it’s a weird barbarian complex where the opportunity for something epic is dangled like a carrot and I can’t help but chase it.

‘YMIR NO!’ Is a common shout on Skype or across the office.

Sometimes it pays off and I cackle madly, sometimes I get my ass kicked. The main point is the followthrough on this, I’ll never blame anyone else and I’ll make sure that if I’m in a game with strangers I halt myself from going too crazy. That said I have sympathy for people who make a questionable play, they’re genuinely not trolling to them at that time and on their screen they saw a BIG PLAY and tried to take it.

Whether it’s inexperience, greed, bloodlust or Teemo Hate something drove them to do it beyond trolling or feeding. A reaction against the rest of the team afterwards is them venting at themselves most of the time and the key thing there is not to engage on it as it just gives them an outlet to continue venting.

 

 

Q: Have you ever considered adding a self-chat-restriction buttons for players who can’t control themselves?

 

Ymir Button Rioter Ymir: This is an interesting one.

What we found was that actually allowing players to mute themselves did not have any real effect, or the potential for effect. It became a crutch and they didn’t actually learn what they were saying was wrong. If you do this then it becomes a system where any change is reliant upon tools to change whereas the system now puts it on you to change.

For very few people it may work, but for most it’s an option that doesn’t really work out the way it should and if they need a Chat Restriction they’ll end up with one through the system.

 

 

BelligerentSwan New Audio Engine Banner

League of Legends will be getting a new sound engine in a few patches time. Senior Sound Designer BelligerentSwan has stepped on the forums to answer community questions regarding the upcoming feature.

 

 

Reporting bugs with the new audio engine

 

BelligerentSwan Button Rioter BelligerentSwan: As always, if you find a bug (with the current or new audio engeine) let us know! If it is an audio specific issue, feel free to report them directly on the Audio Section, or for general issues the Bug Reports Section. Also, if you have a PBE account, stay on the lookout for periodic PBE tests where the engine will be activated.

 

 

Q: Will this allow me to mute character voices without muting the entire game’s sound?

 

BelligerentSwan Button Rioter BelligerentSwan: You can currently do this already! When in game, open the settings menu, select sounds, and click the small speaker icon at the end of the “Voice Volume” slider to mute the in-game voices.

 

 

 

Q: Will the new audio engine be supported by Windows XP?

 

BelligerentSwan Button Rioter BelligerentSwan: If you can run the game, you shouldn’t have an issue with this new audio engine! If you run into any problems though, feel free to report them over in the Audio Feedback section, or the Bug Reports section.

 

 

 

Q: If you are in fact aiming for the camera being the listener, as we were told here, then why not just put the microphone at the camera?

 

BelligerentSwan Button Rioter BelligerentSwan: This was actually more involved than just moving the listener (microphone). When you move the listener, it affects all the sound levels in game. It has a big impact on how things sound at a specific distance based on your current position. We essentially had to go back in an re-mix all the content to match this new position without having a negative impact on the gameplay feedback that sounds deliver. However, fixing the listener was just one part of the changes with the New Audio Engine, and not the only reason we are changing Audio Engines.

 

 

Q: Will the new engine fix the delay in voice responses when emotes are requested?

 

BelligerentSwan Button Rioter BelligerentSwan: For some VO that is processed (added effects to make it sound a certain way like Thresh, Blackfrost Anivia, Lissandra, etc…), they will usually have long “tails” where the sound might not be immediately audible in some cases, but has reverb or something that adds to the overall quality of the VO. You are correct in the fact that a new line of VO won’t trigger in some instances if a previous VO line is already playing.

 

 

Q: Will we be able to change the language pack without messing with the game files?

 

BelligerentSwan Button Rioter BelligerentSwan: We won’t be changing anything regarding how you select the language packs.

 

 

 

 

Q: Will the new engine have an option to lower both Champion Select sound and in-game sound at once?

 

BelligerentSwan Button Rioter BelligerentSwan: The New Audio Engine is separate from the champ select screen. You can adjust these volumes separately. For Champ Select music, I believe you can select the Gear looking icon in the upper right corner and adjust the sfx and music volume there. For in game sounds/music/voices, open the opens menu in-game, and select the Sound page.

 

 

Single Posts banner

 

 

Q: Is Irelia’s rework still underway?

 

 Button Riotermorellovatar Morello: Irelia would be easier than Soraka – but I think we gotta stare down Sion and Poppy before that 🙂

 

 

 

 

Q: Is Soraka’s ultimate in need of changes?

 

 Button Riotermorellovatar Morello: We actually like Wish, it’s one of the most strategically good spells she has.

 

 

 

 

Q: Any chance you can update Taric’s visuals?

 

morellovatar Button Rioter Morello: I don’t think Taric’s in the immediate priority, but we agree he’s on the “ugh” list of badness. 🙂 I’d have to ask artists on their thoughts of VU and how that relates to gameplay update.

In this case, we’d be waiting to add Gameplay until a VU, since we can easily piggyback on the new VFX and animations (which lets us release more reworks when we do this!)

 

 

Bug Report: Purple splash particles missing from Koi Nami’s taunt animation

 

RiotNurseFlan Button Rioter RiotNurseFlan: Oh dear, water shortage crisis!
The water particles should be there on Koi Nami, thanks for pointing it out :]

 

 

 

 

Q: Do you plan on updating older Legendary skins to the quality of current ones?

 

Riot jXe Button Rioter Riot JxE: I think they will definitely consider it, there’s no doubt about that. I don’t know if they’ll do it or not, because there’s a lot of variables and trade-offs that go in to making these decisions.

 

 

 

Q: Why was I Chat Restricted?

 

Riot Moonleaf Button Rioter Riot Moonleaf: We have pre-announced that chat restrictions are coming here. If you want more information on why your account received a chat restriction please send a ticket to Support and the Support team will provide more information. Obviously we can’t discuss account details over the forum.

 

 

May 24 TLDR Banner


 

1. The forecast for Patch 4.9 has been shared on the forums.

  • Kha’Zix is too tanky in teamfights for how well he deals with priority targets and this is something the balance team will address. Evolutions will also be evened out so all 4 are viable options and dependent on the flow of the match.
  • Kassadin was buffed in response to players struggling to counter his kit. Now that they’ve adapted, his power will be toned down a bit.
  • Kayle is currently lacking big weaknesses, while bringing a lot of up-front damage and utility for her team. The team is exploring ways of adding counterplay to her kit.
  • LeBlanc‘s damage is simply too high for the amount of mobility and utility she brings in high-level play. This will be nerfed in an upcoming patch.
  • Braum is currently becoming too tanky with little effort. The team is still monitoring his performance.
  • With Pantheon‘s recent bugfix leaving his ultimate severely weakened, the team is exploring ways to make Grand Skyfall feel satisfying while maintaining its high-risk global skill factor.
  • Jungle XP currently scales with average Champion level, which means snowballing junglers can greatly pull ahead in terms of XP on the map. Experience from monster camps in the mid- and late- game is going down significantly.

2. Ymir has answered some of the community’s concerns regarding the recent chat restriction wave. Recommend you read through it if you’ve been affected or you’re just interested to see how this punishment is distributed.

3. Morello has confirmed Soraka‘s ultimate is in a good place and that long-cooldown heals are a fun mechanic in League.

 

 

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