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Posts Tagged ‘na servers’

 

NA SERVERS MOVE TO CHICAGO ON 25 08

NA’s servers are moving to Chicago in a week from now:

 

NA Server Roadmap Update NA Server Move on 8 25

Ahab Final PortraitTL;DR: On August 25, the NA game servers will move to a new, centralized location inChicago, Illinois. This move, along with other components of the NA Server Roadmap, should improve connection quality for the vast majority of NA players. West Coast players will see an uptick in raw ping numbers, but should also see that uptick mitigated by connection improvements in the form of better overall stability and reduced packet loss. We’ll follow up the server move with a weekend stress test (complete with Party IP) fromAugust 28 – 30. More details below.

Over the last couple weeks, we’ve shared a bunch of the details behind the upcoming move to new game servers in Chicago, Illinois, as well as our latest testing of the new infrastructure. Today, we’re ready to announce both a date – August 25 – and our plan for the day of the server move.

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THE PLAN

Considering the level of activity handled by the NA game servers, our main priority is ensuring maximum safety and minimum disruption. To that end, on the 25th we’ll kick off a phased, zero-downtime transfer of server activity at off-peak hours, with game starts steadily re-allocated to Chicago in escalating fashion over the course of the transfer period. Keep in mind your game starts may hop back and forth between Chicago and Portland if you’re playing during this period. By the end of the day, all games will be supported out of Chicago, with Portland reverting to a disaster-recovery backup while we continue to gather data and make any required adjustments. Tentatively, we’re shooting for around 5 AM PDT to 12 PM (noon) PDT as the transfer window, during which ranked play will be disabled.

Given our extensive preparation and the lack of downtime, the most likely outcome is that you won’t notice any disruption on your end, but we’re also preparing for any and all contingencies. For example, we already know that we’ll very likely have to troubleshoot emergent local routing issues that crop up in the days following the server move. Worst case, we encounter significant issues and temporarily roll back to the current Portland servers so you all encounter minimal downtime or disrupted play as we fix any major problems.

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On the 25th, we’ll also offer free transfers directly to players located in the US and Canada who are currently playing on other servers – look for a transfer email from us and a free transfer option in the store on your account!

After the move itself has been successfully completed, we want to roll right into a stress test weekend from August 28 – 30 to observe how well the new game servers handle peak traffic. To help make sure we really put the new Chicago infrastructure through its paces, we’re enabling Party IP over the weekend – check out the details below in case you need a refresher.

Number of players in party –> Bonus IP awarded

  • 2 –> 100% bonus
  • 3 –> 150% bonus
  • 4 –> 200% bonus
  • 5 –> 300% bonus

You earn rewards win or lose, but only if you’re in a party with at least one other player. Make sure to log in, help us test, and earn extra IP from August 28th, 00:00 PDT through August 30th, 23:59 PDT!


BEYOND THE SWITCH Banner

As I mentioned earlier, in the days following the move the Roadmap team will be working to make sure your connections are taking the most efficient possible paths on our dedicated network to the new game servers. As you might imagine, moving the server destination requires quite a bit of recalibration of preexisting network paths. Most will be well-aligned by the time Chicago is live, but internet infrastructure can get pretty complicated and there willlikely be some straggling connections that aren’t getting to Chicago as fast as they could be. Next week, look for a support megathread for troubleshooting potential network pathing problems by testing your connection to Chicago and sending us traceroute info from your machines.

While the Chicago move will complete our outlined milestones for the NA Server Roadmap, there will always be more to do on the service front. ISPs will change, routes will merge, and the landscape may shift, so multiple teams here at Riot will remain dedicated to making sure players across the US and Canada experience the best possible connection while playing League. One consistent task will be signing and maintaining peering agreements with ISPs across the US and Canada – check out our latest peering list in this thread.

We’ll be back with final details and reminders over the next week, but in the meantime we’re also happy to address any immediate questions you may have in the comments below!

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

 

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News 30/01

 


NA Servers Banner 3

 

 

Ahab Final PortraitTL;DR: We’re actively partnering with ISPs across North America to build a dedicated highway for League traffic. So far we’ve built what we call the “north bridge”, which services connections in the northern US and Canada. Work is ongoing, and the goal is to create a unique network dedicated to transporting League traffic across the shortest, most stable route possible.

Hi everyone,

Riot Ahab here again with a mini-update on what’s happening with the new dedicated League network we’re building in NA. In case you missed the original announcement and Q&A we posted earlier in January, you can check it out here.

These updates will serve as a peek behind the curtain as we continue to build out this network across NA. We can’t share all the nitty-gritty details due to contractual complexities and security concerns, but we can provide a picture of what we’re doing as we go!

For this first update, let’s explore an overview of what we’ve already built up to this point: the first half of the network, which we’re calling the “north bridge.” Currently, this bridge is pathing League traffic for the northern US and Canada and is built out of a series of strategically-placed PoPs (points of presence) with direct connections between them.

What’s the “north bridge”, and what the hell is a PoP?

Think of it this way: if this direct network is a dedicated highway for League traffic between you and the servers, think of the PoPs as “on-ramps”; they get your data on the highway to the servers in the most direct route as physically possible.

These PoPs consist of two elements:

  • Physical hardware: servers and switches placed in key cities
  • Peering agreements: contractual agreements set up with ISPs to funnel traffic directly to the closest PoP

The first part (physical hardware) is pretty straightforward: buy some server space and make sure the on-ramp allows League traffic to hurry along onto the highway.

The bigger challenge, as is true with real highways, is making sure local traffic finds its way to the on-ramp–otherwise the highway does little good! This is where peering agreements come in: these partnership agreements mean ISPs now redirect League traffic off of their networks and toward the nearest PoP.

Once we’ve made a peering agreement with a local ISP (which for big ISPs, like any contractual arrangement with a big company typically takes a fair amount of lawyering back and forth), there’s often a decent amount of necessary fine-tuning with that ISP.

This is important because different ISP algorithms can send traffic bouncing around before it loops into one of our PoPs, much like poorly laid-out street signs could send you driving several towns over and back again before finally finding a PoP on-ramp. Which means on our end we have to track down inefficient pathing routes and work with the ISP to redirect that traffic to make sure it’s taking the most direct route to the closest PoP. It takes a little work, so bringing a PoP online and securing peering agreements doesn’t always mean that everything is working as it should from the get-go. Plus, ISPs change– things break, they merge with other ISPs, split up, new ones may come, and old ones may go, which makes peering and fine-tuning a constant, ongoing process.

With that in mind, here’s a look at the direct network as it exists today:

E0u3CZR

Red dots represent live PoPs we’ve set up so far. In those areas, we’ve installed hardware and are actively working through agreements with local ISPs. Grey dots indicate PoPs that are still in-progress. We’ll post additional updates as those grey dots come online.

This map doesn’t show the direct paths connecting the PoPs, but if you connect the red dots you can see that the north bridge is largely complete. We still have plenty of peering contracts to negotiate with ISPs in these markets so we can make sure local traffic is taking the best possible path to its local PoP, but we’re off to a good start. Typically, we first target the biggest ISPs in any given market because many major ISPs often provide traffic peering routes to smaller local ones (and you’ll find a list of ISPs that we’re currently partnering with at the bottom of this post). So if you’re on a smaller ISP, your connection could likely peer through the larger ISP companies we have agreements with and already be on this new network!

So what does all of this mean?

Connections running through this network should experience a more stable, consistent experience while playing League, since it’s taking the most direct route possible to the game servers. When Phase 3 of the NA Server Roadmap deploys, this network will provide as many players as possible a comparable ping when connecting to the more centralized server location. But we’ll speak more on that in the future!

Live nearby a red dot on the map above? Experienced any drastic fluctuations to your connection in the past few months? Let us know in the comments below. Knowing your local postal code as well as ISP helps us figure out how your data is being routed, but keep in mind if your ISP isn’t yet on the list of current partners below, there’s a chance your data might not be pathing through our network yet.

We’ll post our next NA Server Roadmap update with what we’re actively doing to deliver a consistent quality League connection as well as let you guys know once we’ve started bringing the southern bridge online.

Until then, thanks for reading! We’ll stick around for the next 4 hours to answer whatever questions we can.

Cheers,
-Riot Ahab

US & Canadian ISPs we’re currently partnering with and still tuning how things work:
(note: this list is constantly growing as conversations and contracts develop, but at the time we can only list those we’ve completed peering agreements with!)

  • Atlas Networks Corporation
  • Charter Communications
  • Clear Wireless
  • Cogent Communications
  • Comcast Cable Communications
  • Eltopia
  • Hurricane Electric
  • Interconnected Associates
  • LS Networks
  • NetRiver
  • NTT America
  • Pocketinet Communications
  • Rogers Cable Communications
  • Saskatchewan Telecommunications (SaskTel)
  • Shaw Communications
  • Syringa Networks
  • TekSavvy Solutions
  • TELUS Communications
  • TeraGo Networks
  • Threshold Communications
  • Vision Net
  • WiscNet
  • Worldlink

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Self Gifting Banner


It’s back! For a limited time, surprise yourself with a Mystery Skin!

Purchasing a Mystery Skin will unlock an unowned skin worth 520 RP or more (that could get you a discount of 84% off a skin)! As with the previous rounds of Mystery Skins, you can only unlock skins for champions you own.

Mystery Skins will be available in the Skins tab of the store for 490 RP and are limited to five per day. Grab your Mystery Skins from now until 23:59 on February 2!

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Dev Blog Reward Banner


 

BY LYTE

TLDR: Our player behavior philosophies include punishment, reform and positive reinforcement. With rewards, we have to be careful to design systems that don’t simply incentivize positive behavior for a small duration, but provide reasons to stay positive all the time.

Hello again!

Last time, I mentioned that Drevarius would go into a deeper dive on punishment in this blog, but with the surprise Mystery Gift for positive behavior going out to 95% of players in 2014, we wanted to take the opportunity to jump ahead and explore our philosophies around rewards and positive reinforcement.

One of our core philosophies is that there’s no silver bullet to improving player behavior in online games, and you always need a mix including punishment, reform, and positive reinforcement.


End of Snowdown Mystery Gift

In 2014, we focused on the community and self-reflection. We ran a few experiments, including an exercise where players reflected on their last 10 games and we all came to the conclusion that the one negative experience that happens occasionally should not define our community. With Snowdown’s celebration of everyone coming together to be a part of the Legend of the Poro King, it was a great opportunity to deliver a positive behavior surprise.

One of the keys of positive reinforcement is the idea of “schedules,” or the expected frequency of a reinforcing event. Introducing surprise rewards unrelated to specific activities or durations is one of the most effective ways to encourage positive player behavior. The surprise element is crucial: imagine an achievement system where, if you are sportsmanlike for your next 10 games, you unlock a free skin. Players could simply behave for 10 games, unlock their gift and go back to playing the same way they were before (whether that’s positive, negative or neutral). So, instead, we’ll continue to surprise players once in awhile for their positive behavior. Because players aren’t sure what the next reward is (or when it is), players will strive to be sportsmanlike in a larger range of games to try to get all the surprises.

For positive players in the game, this won’t really affect them and they’ll just get surprises every so often for being awesome. For neutral players, this effort might convince some of them to put in that extra effort in a few more games to get the next surprise. For negatively behaved players, this effort might also encourage a few to change their ways although we expect the biggest impact to be with the neutral players.


Its All in the Surprise

In future roll-outs it’ll be possible for players to earn the next surprise so long as they’ve been positive since the last surprise was awarded. So, if you were chat restricted and missed a surprise, you could still be eligible if you were positive in the time range between that one and the next.

Also, keep in mind that not every surprise will be a mystery gift. Every surprise will differ in magnitude, and be tailored to different players. For example, the last surprise before the end of Snowdown gift was an IP Boost, mainly beneficial for newer players still building out their champion pools. Other surprises may include collectibles like unique summoner icons (which some players will remember we’ve tried before with the Santa Baron icon).

In the last blog in this series, we’ll be back to discuss punishment as a deterrent for negative behavior and our philosophy around it. Thanks as always, and we’ll see you in game!

– Lyte

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Patch 5 2 Jungle Items banner


 

Fearless New PortraitTLDR: We did a pretty poor job ensuring you guys got the full reasoning for why we were doing this, and I really dropped the ball here. I failed to ensure that our patch notes reflected the intent of these changes, nor did I give Pwyff and crew nearly enough info to make that possible for them. I’m here to give the full context and also talk about how these changes fit into our strategy around the jungle right now.

So, the 5.1 “Smite with Charges!” change does a lot of cool stuff for the strategic freedom of the jungler, but we also knew that it would hit some of the same issues the Conservation mechanic had from season 4. Mainly, when you’re not ‘wasting’ a resource with overflow, it creates very clear windows for the jungler to go do something else with a very low cost. In other words, a jungler waiting for Smite to come off cooldown can gank or go kill wards without feeling like they’re making a deliberate trade for it.

Combined with a few junglers that could grab a camp or two and then bring out very potent ganks, this meant that 5.1 created a situation where the optimal strategy for some of our most powerful gankers was to go back to their old habits of deciding lanes before laners had even hit level 2 (in some cases). Worst of all was that failing these ganks didn’t really set these junglers behind, because many other junglers didn’t have the ability to invade and punish them after the failed gank.

The adjustments were made to hit this specifically, so that guys like Jarvan and Lee Sin had a bit more of a risky start if they tried this, as would Shaco, Xin, and Panth, even if they’re not currently centered in the spotlight.

We are aware that this change hurts some of the junglers with weak clears, leaving them with less gold for pots to stay healthy during their second clear. We know this is really painful when blind monks and dunking princes are taking over games. We know have a lot of work ahead of us. We’ve been making changes and adjustments to the systems around the jungle at a really high frequency, and that’s largely complicated the work that could have been done on the individual items or the champs. We’ve already been having a lot of internal discussions about what we need to do as the dust settles on the systematic changes. The 5.2 changes happened because we know early gankers needed to be much higher risk, and the extremely cheap jungle items were a main contributor to their reliability.

We still need to carve out more space for our tank junglers, and we are still trying to give junglers more reason to invade and counter jungle. These actions are one of the core reactions necessary to keep gankers in check, and currently aren’t functioning at the levels necessary for healthier play. Can’t say it enough, we have lots of work ahead of us still, and we’re committed to making this better. 5.3 is already very tight for changes, so 5.4 is much more likely for the next round of changes.

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Pwyff Final PortraitTotes my bad on the context in the patch notes. Reading back on it, it definitely reads like we didn’t acknowledge the full problem. Something to learn for the future definitely.

As an aside, we talk a lot about making precise changes that directly target the problem – I think for this one we took a more broad approach that ended up ‘hurting’ a lot of junglers, even if it was more directly aimed at aggressive level 2 gankers (Lee / J4 / Shaco / Panth / Xin). We’re aware, we’re looking into it.

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Why dont you just nerf Lee Sin and Jarvan instead of jungle items

Fearless New PortraitWe knew the items enabled a pattern, a pattern that JarvSin ( Lee Vin?) were able to opt into, but it’s not just them. The items created too low of a threshold for success for a jungler’s first few minutes. The item adjustment needed to fix that issue with the system, and would need to even if those dudes weren’t generally strong.

Also as I posted, it’s been very hard to make changes to individual champions while we’re also making so many large systematic changes. Trying to get the systems of the game stable gives us a lot more space to hit the champs we need to it, and more excitingly, start bumping up the champs that we think we’ve pushed down with the system changes.

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Why do large systematic changes never change Lee Sin

Fearless New PortraitI’m honestly not even sure what you’re insinuating here.

The actual reason why Lee tends to due really well through many rounds of changes is because he’s incredibly flexible, very poorly stat bound (can do well with a huge range of builds), grants a lot of power that cannot be repressed through systematic changes. As stated above, he needs to be changed, and we know that many functions of the jungle changes won’t be realized without those changes.

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Balance Philosophy Banner



Ghostcrawler New PortraitHey guys,

I’ll throw out a few responses here.

On balance philosophy – we realize that our strategy for who we balance for isn’t well articulated. Do we balance for LCS or for Silver players? Or both? We’re trying to make sure we agree on what our actual goal is, because I think “We balance for everyone!” is a little too precious and unrealistic.

We’ll communicate our strategy when we’ve made sure we’re on the same page. Balance philosophy is a topic that greatly interests me. I don’t make the individual tuning changes personally (and you wouldn’t want me to) so I can’t provide as much context on specific patch notes, though I do help set the philosophy and direction for what kinds of changes we try to make.

Related, “win rate” gets used a lot as synonymous with balance, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. We need to communicate better about what game balance means to us, because there’s more to it than that. A lot of what you’re discussing in this thread is sort of “pre-balancing.” We’re making a change (that we have wanted to make for some time!) by removing DFG, and we know that change would have big ramifications if we didn’t adjust some champs to compensate. Those adjustments, while grounded in math, playtesting and player feedback, still often come down to educated guesses, because we don’t have the data from thousands of live games yet. A more accurate but painfully slow way to balance is to make one change, see how the live game reacts, then make another change in response to that. We think this would feel worse overall.

On design accountability — it totally exists. It’s part of my job to make sure it exists. Now, it’s not the kind of thing you’re likely to see a lot. We’re not going to publicly flog designers for making mistakes, though I can understand why that might be cathartic. On the other hand, designers (and anyone at Riot really) should be upfront and honest with you guys about when they think they’ve made a mistake.

On designers buffing champions that they like to play — this would be a big accountability issue. As someone pointed out, while we are all gamers here, this is also a place of business with a product (LoL) and customers (you guys). It’s royally unprofessional to try and tweak the game to benefit your own personal games. That’s a serious breach of trust (Rioter and players) that would come with serious consequences. We may make changes you don’t understand or don’t agree with, but it’s not because we’re trying to boost our own ELO.

On Lee and Thresh — they are champions we like, but more importantly, they also resonate with a lot of players. It’s not a popularity contest, but on the other hand, we believe a lot of why people play them is because they are fun to play, not just because they win a lot. Both champs have a lot of cool abilities, and arguably they both have so many that a) neither has a lot of weaknesses, and b) they compliment almost any comp you try to build. We’re trying to figure out ways to make them less awesome in every situation without stripping away what is fun about them. For example, last year or so we tried to tone down Lee’s mobility and ward hopping, but it felt terrible, and largely due to player feedback (intelligent, meaningful feedback, not whining and pitchforks) we reverted it.

As always, we appreciate the feedback. The more targeted and actionable it is, the more useful it is for us. I can go tell the balance team “Boards say you suck” and they would kind of look at me and say “Okay, what changes in how we adjust champions should we make?” and I would say “You just suck.” There’s not really a lot of direction for improvement there.

Hugs,
GC

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Will there be changes to Mordekaiser in Patch 5 3

Meddler Final PortraitOne of the options we’re looking at at the moment is whether we should play up Morde’s tankier side a bit more. Huge guy in a full suit of armor with a passive that generates a shield suggest tough front line dude. The removal of DFG already shifts him away from bursting down a target almost instantly, our thinking is that offering him a more sustained presence might be a good approach as a result. That’s very much an idea being explored right now though, not yet a proven direction.

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What has been the most purchased skin so far

Hippalus Final PortraitAssassin Master Yi is still the most purchased skin overall due mostly to free RP. But the record for most skins purchased during release was set by a new skin in 2014. Any guesses? I’ll tell you if the most upvoted guess is right or not.

UPDATE: As of 11:45am PST, the most upvoted guesses are:

  • 1) The ultimate skin that wasn’t
  • 2) Project Yasuo
  • 3) Dragonslayer Pantheon

and the answer is……..

  • 1) Haha good one – maybe we’ll make up for it in 2015. Or maybe not.
  • 2) Yes! Congrats Reddit.
  • 3) Not the winner of this prize, but it WAS the most played 2014 skin in my personal quest for challenger (which sadly fizzled out somewhere in gold).

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


 

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News 06/01

 

Recent News Banner

 

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NA Ping Banner

 

 

 NA Server Roadmap Update Optimizing the Internet for League and You

Ahab Final PortraitUPDATE: Thanks for all your questions and joining in on the discussion, that’s it from us for now. If you haven’t already, please fill out the survey. And keep an eye out on Boards for future updates from the NA Roadmap team!

Hi everyone,

Riot Ahab here again to share more updates on what we’re doing to address East Coast ping problems. By now, you may be familiar with the NA Server Roadmap, which outlines our approach to addressing ping disparity across the US and Canada. You can check it out here.

Today, I want to introduce Riot WizardOTL (formerly Riot WizardoftheLake), who has been busy leading the charge on Phase 2 of the Roadmap: building a dedicated network for League of Legends traffic.

Why are we doing this? Currently, ISPs focus primarily on moving large volumes of data in seconds or minutes, which is good for buffered applications like YouTube or Netflix but not so good for real-time games, which need to move very small amounts of data in milliseconds. On top of that, your internet connection might bounce all over the country instead of running directly to where it needs to go, which can impact your network quality and ping whether the game server is across the country or right down the street.

This is why we’re in the process of creating our own direct network for League traffic and working with ISPs across the US and Canada to connect players to this network.

There’s a lot of fine-tuning to do as we bring additional parts of the network online, and we could use your help. Some connections can misfire and run a longer route than necessary to get to this network, so If you have experienced a sudden spike to your connection since November, please let us know by filling out this short survey.

There’s a lot to cover, so we thought this would be best served as a Q&A. We’ll hang around this thread for the next 4 hours to answer questions and get into the nitty-gritty should anyone be curious.

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You should keep the community informed of your progress

Ahab Final PortraitAgreed – we’re talking on our end about ways to keep the community informed as we go along these steps. As pieces of the network come online, maybe we post an update to a thread and explain what happened (what went right, what didn’t). There are of course some things we can’t talk about for security concerns in the nitty-gritty, but still it could be worthwhile to outline the project into steps.

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If the Roadmap is complete how will gameplay improve

SonicDeathMonk Final PortraitMany players should see improvements in network quality as our new North American network rolls out. These improvements could be less ping time, less network packet loss, and more stable connections (less disconnects). Ping, packet loss, and stability may not all move in the same direction for all players depending on location within North America, their ISP (how their ISP connects to Riot’s network).


Ping, packet loss, and stability are not always tied together and can be affected by many things. When it comes to network quality we prioritize stability, reduced packet loss, and ping time pretty much in this order. You can’t play the game if you are not connected, you will see more lag with more packet loss, and ping can become a problem when it gets significantly high or is unstable (shooting up and down all the time in the middle of the game).

The game client only reports ping time to players but it also tracks stability and packet loss to Riot (and in client log files) on a near real time basis (though it can take us a day to crunch all the data from all the game clients before we see a troubling trend developing so we are not yet at real time detection of some network problems). Sometimes packet loss will show up in your ping time, usually you will see it jump up and down quickly which often indicates packet loss is happening or if severe packet loss will show up as lag in the game.

Faster ping time is often reported by players to “feel” better and is often something that is reported to be more meaningful the better you are at playing a game. How fast ping is before you feel the difference is likely dependent on the individual but it is generally thought the lower the better (diminishing returns apply, going from 160 ping to 90 ping is more impactful than going from 110 ping to 40). Lower ping time can also help mitigate packet loss since the game can recover missing packets faster. Because the Internet is a loose collection of various private and public networks, ping time is something that will constantly change for players. Some players could see slight increases in ping times while others can see significant reductions as our new network comes online. Our goal is benefit the most players and then troubleshoot ISPs that still have players with poor network quality.

EDIT: Formatting

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Ahab Final PortraitThis network should bring a marginal improvement for everyone – coast to coast. West coasters are impacted by this as well – we’ve seen traffic in San Francisco get bounced across the country before finally getting to the server.

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When will this be ready

Ahab Final PortraitThe full network is slated to be built by the end of March this year. 

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Does that mean itll be fully functional or just that the network will be ready

Ahab Final PortraitThe hardware will be functional — the agreements may take a little extra time (since contracts always do), and there will be extra work hammering out individual hiccups and making sure as many players as possible have their connections pathing correctly to this network.

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Ahab Final PortraitThe March goal should include getting the agreements done (and we are currently on schedule in that regard), but the back-and-forth on contracts never fails to amaze me on how long it can take!

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So youre setting up your own Tier 2 or 1 network

Ahab Final PortraitExactly, we’re focused on peering directly — technically we may not meet the classification of a Tier 1 network, but you’ve got the idea.

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How will you involve NA ISPs in the process

SonicDeathMonk Final PortraitIt can take us many months to work with large ISP companies to achieve even modest results. Gaming is currently not a priority for most. However we are investing a lot of time in educating the ISPs that have LoL players as customers. It is very company dependent and we expect it will be a long road to travel but ultimately great for gamers.

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Isnt collaborating with ISPs for a service against Net Neutrality

WizardOTL Final BannerNo and yes. So we are forced to do this because of the way the Internet is architected, not because the ISPs are forcing us to. Net Neutrality is not in play here, this is just the way any network would have to be built to achieve our goals.

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Why was there a huge packet loss around December 29th 30th

SonicDeathMonk Final PortraitThere was a lot of DDoS activity targeting the game industry the last 2 weeks of the year. While it may not be your specific cause, DDoS can create congestion for more than just the target. Congested pipes create packet loss. Hard to tell for a specific player though.

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Will you address the other connection issues players are dealing with

SonicDeathMonk Final PortraitNetwork quality has been a big focus for us in 2014 with a ton of planning and work being accomplished. As work continues into 2015 players should see improvements in network quality for many of the LoL services though game play is our biggest focus. It might be worth contacting player support about your specific frequent issues with PvP chat disconnecting.

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Should I stick it out with Verizon or switch to another provider

WizardOTL Final BannerGreat question! We are working as fast as we can with Verizon to peer with them, and are not aware of any issues (though I just reached out to their VP of network infrastructure). We are also working to make sure that we are not going to get throttled, our traffic is really low (300k or less) so that shouldn’t be a problem. I really don’t think the VPN service is worth it, but it does not hurt to try.

Thank you for playing ! Even if you are a Cisco guy 😉 Seriously though, great post.

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Why havent the NA servers been moved to a more centralized location

SonicDeathMonk Final PortraitNetwork quality is the foundational thing in any online service (online being the key word). Once we have a handle on being able to firmly control the quality of the Internet between player ISPs and LoL data centers we can tackle the issue of what is the best location for the servers. With the big changes in the Internet business model going on since 2013 (net neutrality, rise in huge DDoS attacks, popularity of online video exploding which has created unprecedented Internet congestion, etc.) we have had to take a step back and really think about the foundation first. Network first is the right long term strategy for players throughout North America.

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Are you having trouble finding T1T2 lines in various parts of the country

WizardOTL Final BannerNo, we have our own all optical network and we are asking the ISPs to send League traffic through that.

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Will you manage the network yourselves or let an outside company do that

WizardOTL Final BannerWe manage it internally. We have a great core team and we are actively recruiting to grow that group.

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How did you as a company react when an employee suggested doing this

WizardOTL Final BannerHonestly, it took us a while to digest and wrap our heads around it. We had to meet with outside groups, and recruit people that have dealt with “service provider” networks versus data center networks. And then we ran some tests and found that this was the right path.

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How long do you think itll take for the investment this will require to pay off

WizardOTL Final BannerWe don’t really look at it that way, this is the best for the players, so it is just something we need to do.

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Snowdown Positive Awards Banner


 

Pabro Final PortraitsSay farewell to your friends, for Snowdown has passed.
The Legend of the Poro King conquered at last.
We won some, we lost some, we tossed many poros.

Some landed and some missed, that is just how it goes.
Who really won this Snowdown? Only the poros know.
Every single game, a unique Snowdown surprise.

The year may be over, but only Amumu cries–
Even if it’s over, we learned one thing at the end:
Snowdown gathers strangers, but we all leave as friends.

Thank you! Together we’ve had another incredible year and we’ve enjoyed taking a few big steps in League’s evolution with you. While Snowdown may be over, there’s one more thing we wanted to do to commemorate 2014.

Over the next few days, we’ll be rewarding positive League of Legends players with a classic Mystery Gift as thanks for being such an awesome part of our community. If you haven’t received a chat restriction, ranked restriction, 14-day ban or permanent ban in 2014, and you meet the requirements to receive a Mystery Gift (you’re Level 5 or higher and there are at least 10 skins you don’t own), you’re on our list!

Thank you again for a fantastic 2014. Share what you unlocked in your Mystery Gift below, and we’ll see you on the Rift in the new year!

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Free Mystery Gifts for positive players

Lyte Final PortraitHope everyone had a good holiday and New Year. I’m seeing some questions about this new announcement, so hopefully can help out.

One, a few players are wondering why we are giving out an extrinsic (tangible!) reward for positive behavior when they might have heard we were against it in the past. This is a misunderstanding! We’ve always said that our player behavior philosophies include punishment, reform, and positive reinforcement. There’s no silver bullet to improving player behavior in online games, and you always need a mix of punishments and rewards. You can read more about our design philosophies here:http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/news/game-updates/player-behavior/exploring-player-behavior-design-values

However, to give more context about this extrinsic reward, the key is that it is a surprise and not deterministic. What I mean by this is that it isn’t some kind of achievement system where you are sportsmanlike for your next 10 games, then directly unlock a mystery gift. If you design a system like this, players will simply behave for 10 games, unlock their mystery gift and go back to their normal ways.

This current design is something we’re trying out in 2015 and will surprise players once in awhile for their positive behavior. Because players aren’t sure what the next reward is (or when it is), players will strive to be sportsmanlike in a larger range of games to try to get all the surprises. For positive players in the game, this won’t really affect them and they’ll just get surprises every so often for being awesome. For neutral players, this effort might convince some of them to put in that extra effort in a few more games to get the next surprise. For toxic players, this effort might also encourage a few to change their ways though we expect the biggest impact to be with the neutral players. It’s important to note that we did 2 tests of this design before (with Santa Baron icon and IP Boosts), but in future roll-outs it will be possible for players to earn the next surprise if they’ve been positive since the last surprise was awarded. So, if you were chat restricted and missed a surprise, you will still be eligible for the next surprise if you were positive in the time range between the 2 surprises and are not blacklisted for life.

Not every surprise will be a mystery gift. Every surprise will differ in magnitude, and be tailored to different players. For example, the last surprise was an IP Boost which was mainly beneficial for newer players still building out their champion pools. Other surprises may include collectibles like unique summoner icons (which we tried before with the Santa Baron icon).

Hopefully this answered a few of your questions, and seeing all these surprises will nudge some players to be a little more positive in their games!

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How can we earn the Santa Baron icon

Lyte Final PortraitIf you were positive around Q4 2012, you got a Santa Baron to keep! Use it in all its glory.

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Lyte Final PortraitTo be fair, the Santa Baron used different criteria than not getting a chat restriction or ban, but we found being very transparent with our criteria helped players understand how to get the next surprise which is why all current surprises use very clear criteria.

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What happens if you own too many skins to be eligible for Mystery Gifts

Lyte Final PortraitWait for the next surprise! Unfortunately we can’t ensure that all surprises are beneficial to every player, every time.

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

 

 

NA Servers Banner

NA servers will be moved on November to improve stability; here are the full details and some community questions answered:

 

Here‘s a short version of the announcement.

 

Natural20 New Portrait Hi NA players!

I’m Riot Natural20, a Senior Release Manager at Riot Games, and I’m a part of the team that’s rebuilding League’s server infrastructure and migrating players to this new environment. Earlier this year, our team performed the EUW migration to the Amsterdam datacenter, and now we’re ready to tackle NA. While this is a slightly different type of migration, we’re taking learnings from Amsterdam to deliver on the core advantages of the EUW migration: more stable connectivity, minimized downtimes, and improved service.

So, why are we doing this? Over the evolution of League’s growth, we’ve renovated the existing environment quite a bit. To accommodate this expansion, improve security, and upgrade our hardware and software, we’re starting from a blank slate and building everything from the ground up. This means an all-new, state of the art network and server infrastructure for NA!

Our number one goal with this migration is increasing server stability: allowing you to play the game whenever you want and with minimal service interruption. This new environment will also give us more tools to prevent malicious attacks, which means even more stability.

This migration is just one part of our commitment to get you the service you deserve, starting with increased stability. Latency is definitely on our radar, though ping isn’t what we should address right now. Instead, we’re tackling stability first because ping is sort of a moot point without a stable game foundation—low ping doesn’t really help if you’re experiencing disconnects or can’t even log in.

We’re in the last phases of our build out and migration testing period, so we’re tentatively scheduling the migration for early November. We’ll post another announcement on Boards about two weeks before migration day, and we’ll make a final announcement the day before migration.

As a heads up, during the migration, you won’t be able to log into the client or play League for about 12 hours. Don’t worry—we’re planning maintenance for the middle of the night, like we do for patch releases, so we’ll minimize the impact of our downtime. For NA, game time is typically at its lowest between 2:00-3:00am PST, which means we’d start migrating around 12:01am PST. We’ll give you a more specific date and time in our final announcement.

I’m sure you guys have a ton of questions. Fire away and I’ll do my best. I can answer most stuff, though I can’t divulge certain tech details and specs because that could jeopardize the stability we’re aiming for with this new environment.

—Riot Natural20

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Where will the new servers be located

Natural20 New PortraitAll the servers will still be on the West Coast.

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Will this also address the recent influx of client crashes

Natural20 New PortraitNo, the updating of our servers will not resolve any client side crashes. We do have people working on those as well, though!

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Can we expect replays to be added

Natural20 New PortraitSo you are interested in the new client?

Seriously though, moving to our new datacenter is one of the steps to getting replays running. My team is not the one driving on that part, so I am afraid I don’t know any more about replays.

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How will this impact East Coast players

Natural20 New PortraitNo, there are no changes to ping in this update, as the game servers will still be on the West Coast. We have people looking at the ping issue as well, though I do not know the status of that project.

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What will be the average ping for East Coast players

Natural20 New PortraitI cannot tell you what your exact ping will be, since some of that is dependent on your local ISP. I can tell you that the new game servers are in the same location as the current ones, so I would expect similar ping times.

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