Posts Tagged ‘riot tiki’


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Voice Chat in League Banner

Have you ever wished Riot added voice chatting? Ok, scratch that, here’s why voice chat in League should never exist.



Lyte Riotlink Button Lyte: At Riot, we’re pretty hardcore gamers. Many of us have lived and breathed games like Counterstrike for many years of our lives. Given the features games like these have, every so often, there’s a heated discussion within Riot about voice chat – should we build it in League of Legends? Would it improve the player experience for the average player? Why do some games choose not to integrate voice chat, while others do? Rioters often debate for hours about the pros and cons of voice chat, so we decided to more deeply investigate the impact of voice chat. Every time the discussion comes up, we add a little bit more research to the mix and learn a little bit more about voice chat’s impact on online games.

Due to the recent rise of 3rd party voice chat applications, we decided to take a moment to share some of our findings and explain why we haven’t implemented voice chat in League of Legends, but also why we haven’t closed the doors on it being possible in the future.

Do players want this feature?

One of the critical things I want to highlight is the difference between integrated voice chat with strangers, versus with friends. We often survey League of Legends players on whether they prefer to use voice chat with friends, and over 79% of players agree that it’s a more enjoyable way to play League of Legends. But when you ask League of Legends players whether they prefer to use voice chat with strangers, the agree rate drops to 50%:  1 in 2 players do not want to voice chat with strangers, or don’t care. More importantly, 28% of players disagree. When looking at numbers like these, we have to carefully consider that adding voice chat would actually create an unwanted experience for just over 1 in 4 players. Meanwhile, players who want voice chat already enjoy it with friends using other voice options.

These numbers might seem different than results from online polls or general threads you’ve seen here on the forums, but there are two important variables at play. One, players that tend to visit online forums or communities are aunique subset of the League of Legends population. Two, online polls or questions about voice chat rarely distinguish the difference between voice chatting with friends versus strangers. If you just ask the question “Do you want voice chat in League of Legends?”, most players answer the question through their perspective. Players that prefer to voice chat with strangers say “Yes!”, but so do players that prefer voice chat with friends, leading to bloated numbers and inaccurate perceptions.

What’s the player experience like?

With the recent surge of 3rd party voice chat applications, we were able to do some neat data analysis on the impact of voice chat to the League of Legends experience. We were especially curious as to whether or not these applications created a more enjoyable experience in games where there was voice chat between strangers.

One of the things about voice chat is that more often than not, you end up with games where only a few of the players opt into the application, and the rest are still using text. In our analysis, we found that text-based communication in games where only some of the teammates were in voice chat had up to 126% more racism, sexism, homophobia, and verbal abuse that we all agree have no place in League. Not surprisingly, we also saw that players who were using voice chat with strangers received 47% more reports than your baseline League player.

There have also been a few concerning studies about gender cues and voice chat in other popular, competitive online games. For example, a published paper from Ohio University showed that just giving a cue or sign that you’re a woman on voice chat leads to 300% more negative comments compared to a male voice, or no voice at all.


At the end of the day, voice chat with friends is a great experience, and what League of Legends players actually want. Many players already use voice chat like Skype and Ventrilo with their friends and that’s awesome. But, a system that automatically or easily puts you into voice chat with strangers leads to 126% more toxicity and 47% more reports even when players can opt-out of the experience or mute each other.

Hopefully this gives players more insight into how we think about voice chat.




[ Question ] How did you calculate these statistics?


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte: Like Amazon, Google, Facebook and other tech companies, we’ve developed in-house predictive models that can analyze chat logs in real-time and assess the level of certain sentiment. For example, the model can detect whether a chat log was generally positive communication, or generally negative communication, while also being able to specifically look at the frequency of certain words that we’ve labeled or curated as racist or homophobic (like f*g and f*ggot).

Many third party companies also offer similar services, and many game studios use these services to do things like automatic sentiment analysis of social media to determine player perception of a feature, etc. We built one in-house with some experts in machine learning and language analysis because of the nuance required to build such a model for League of Legends, which has it’s own unique lingo and slang.

For issues like premade sizes vs all solos, these factors are all taken into account in most systems in League. For example, most research will take into account the current premade size when considering things like the # of reports filed in a game, and whether it’s higher or lower than the baseline for that specific premade size vs the general League average.



[ Question ] How are you so confident that talking to strangers will produce toxicity?


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte: Results will vary from app to app and implementation to implementation. For example, if a voice chat app is in Closed Beta, the players that apply for beta, install the app and try it with strangers might be more keen on using voice chat with strangers than your typical player. This experience will be completely different than an integrated voice chat solution that enables voice chat very easily for the entire playerbase.

It’s pretty easy to determine if you are using voice chat with friends vs strangers because many apps will have markers that are different when you use it with friends vs strangers. For example, if you’re using Skype with a stranger, you have to somehow exchange your Skype information over chat first. If you’re using Skype with a friend, you already have the friend on your Skype Friend List. If you’re in voice chat with someone you’ve never played a game with before in League, and never play a 2nd game with, more likely that it’s a stranger than a friend. A few simple heuristics makes it really easy to differentiate voice chat with friends vs strangers.



[ Question ] Ask your co-workers to put a live poll on the main page of this website


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte: We did a “live” poll in the game client, so that we had a better representative sample of the playerbase. If we did it on the website, we’d only sample the % of players that tend to visit the forums, which are a completely different demographic than the overall playerbase.



Chat Restriction Banner

Lyte continues his discussion on the experimental chat restricting system and how it does (and doesn’t do) its job of punishing toxic elements in the game.



Chat Restriction is an automated system and is often doing its job incorrectly


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte: I’m open to hearing your feedback. Even in the Tribunal, Player Support only manually reviews ambiguous cases, or severe cases (that result in bigger penalties).

Even in the chat restriction system, so few players are affected on most servers that Player Support does review a significant portion of the cases and Player Behavior reviews another significant portion. The teams don’t review 100% of cases.

Is the problem you have with the system that there are false positives and positive players being punished, or that we should review 100% of cases regardless of the accuracy of the system?



Players being chat restricted for not talking


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte: Regarding whether players who don’t talk at all should receive additional chat restrictions, it’s actually a very edge case. For example, let’s look at how the system works with this week’s settings and variables.

Let’s take 1000 players that have been chat restricted, and look at what happens with the current system which includes very little feedback.

1) About 67% of players improve their behaviors and never receive a 2nd set of chat restrictions.
– that’s 670 players out of 1000 that are now in neutral or positive standing

2) For many players that receive chat restrictions, not talking at all actually removes their chat restrictions if they received 3-15 game chat restrictions. This is because we agree with Ulanopo, neutral rest states like not talking at all is “good enough” to lift chat restrictions. But, why are some players getting more chat restrictions even when they don’t talk? That leads to point #3.

3) For players that are in the worst 1% of the entire playerbase, they receive 40+ chat restrictions.
– this is about 10 players out of every 1000 players
– since about 67% of players improve their behaviors enough in the 40 games, their chat restrictions are lifted
– this leaves about 3 players out of the 1000 that may receive additional penalties

4) For these worst 1% of players, for these 3 players out of the 1000, it’s sometimes taking ~100-120 games to remove their chat restrictions, even if they don’t talk at all. This means that sometimes these players are going through 3 to 4 batches of chat restrictions. This is because we have not perfected or optimized the tuning of the system, and it should have probably just given these players more chat restrictions to begin with. But, this is why we’re moving rapidly to make sure we experiment efficiently and get to the optimized state ASAP.

We can always tweak the numbers so that players seeing problem #4 need to play through fewer games to reach the “neutral” state. However, due to the lack of transparency, it’s easy to understand why players feel like the problems are more widespread than they are–that’s our fault.



[ Follow-up ] So whether I talk or don’t talk is a lose-lose situation, since I’ll be punished either way?


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte: This is untrue. Many players never talk in-game and just use in-game pings, and they aren’t banned for Refusing to Communicate. A lot of players think they get banned for Refusing to Communicate, but it’s never happened in all my years at Riot.



[ Opinion ] If I’ve moved from talking negatively to not talking at all, I’ve improved my behavior and shouldn’t be further punished


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte: I mentioned this briefly in another post, it’s a bit more nuanced than that. First of all, not talking is fine. Most players don’t talk and just use in-game pings.

However, let’s look at players who have been toxic before, and earned a few penalties. For these players, if they were toxic for 100 games, then don’t talk for 5 games… should we remove their chat penalties? Is the behavior considered fully improved? What if a player was toxic for 1000 games, then did not talk for 1 game? Should we remove their penalties?



[ Question ] So if I’m ignoring people’s offensive language and still being punished for it, what’s my incentive to improve?


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte: If you ignore it all and stay focused on the game, you should stop receiving chat restrictions in the near future. It all depends on a number of factors; for example, if you were being toxic before for 100 games, then ignoring stuff and being positive for 5 games… the system won’t immediately remove your penalties and give you 0 chat restrictions.

At the end of the day, if you continue being sportsmanlike and ignore the trolls, you’ll stop receiving chat restrictions–it might seem slow now, but we’re still tweaking the values on a pretty consistent basis.



[ Follow-up ] 


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte: Players that have never received any penalties before, and not behaved toxic before, will never have an issue not talking.

Players that have been punished before or behaved toxic before are treated differently by systems. So, if players that have been punished recently for toxic behavior do not chat in games, it’s treated as “neutral-negative” and not necessarily positive.



A computer should not be the final say in people getting punished for behavioural issues, regardless of accuracy. The Tribunal was at least managed by people


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte: I agree with many of your points, which is why the chat restriction system is temporary and very experimental. The goal is to take many of the lessons from chat restrictions and incorporate them into the new Tribunal so that we can speed up the Tribunal. 

We’re investigating things like how accurate systems like this can be, and how different types of information can influence the accuracy of the system. For example, is analysis of the chat log more or less important than analysis of player-submitted reports? Or, the comments included in player-submitted reports? Given all the things we record, what data leads to the most accurate decisions?

In the future, we can use a highly sophisticated system like this to determine which Tribunal cases are “ambiguous” and may need more votes, or which are more clear-cut. Alternatively, we could do things like figure out which Tribunal cases are more severe and deserve harsher penalties.



[ Question ] How can you guarantee innocent players aren’t being chat restricted?


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte: As you’ve seen on the forums several times, there’s very few cases of players getting chat restrictions by accident. A lot of players post about their unfair bans, then someone from Player Support will typically reveal that it was well-deserved. It’s 100% not OK for positive players or neutral players to be affected by the system, and we act immediately when such an incident occurs. 

But right now, only 1-2 cases have been overturned since the chat restriction system started handing out penalties.



[ Suggestion ] When a player is punished, email him/her their chat logs


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte: The Tribunal does this, and when the feature comes back it’ll start doing this again.



[ Question ] What can a chat restricted player do to avoid a secondary “neutral-negative” chat restriction?


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte: Right now, approximately 70% of players don’t receive a 2nd set of chat restrictions after their first on ends. Just because you’re chat restricted doesn’t mean you can’t communicate in positive ways.



Feedback is important for punished players so they know how to reform


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte: 100% agree that feedback is necessary and right now it’s disabled because the Tribunal is in upgrade mode. But, chat restrictions are a temporary system, and it’s being experimented with a lot to learn as much as we can about punishment systems so we can incorporate the lessons into the new Tribunal. For example, being able to sort through Tribunal cases with more accuracy, or even better funnel the right cases urgently to Player Support to expedite appeals or harsher bans. Every week with chat restrictions, a few things change, and some parameters change. As a side note, we agree with being more transparent about the system, but we’re still waiting on some servers to get chat restrictions implemented and are waiting for that roll-out before we talk more in-depth about the system.

What’s constructive and super helpful is posts like Ulanopo’s and Eleshkai’s that give us feedback about the concept of chat restrictions; for example, if players feel it’s mandatory for cases to be human-reviewed, that’s an important point that we know the Tribunal will help resolve when it’s back up. What I don’t want to get into the weeds about is the actual tweaking of the variables because those are easily changed in the system when we bring back the Tribunal.



[ Question ] Why isn’t failure to communicate with the players a much bigger deal?


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte: It is a big deal. I mentioned several times that we will strive to be more transparent, but we’re still working overtime on some servers to implement chat restrictions at all. Historically, we’ve done a poor job at making sure every server has the full player behavior feature set; for example, to this day, some servers have never experienced a Tribunal at all and in some servers they don’t have access to LeaverBuster. We need to get these features rolling on these other servers so they can at least match a baseline of player behavior before we keep forging ahead on NA. One of our core goals of the new Tribunal was to make sure that the tech was globally viable, so that we could launch Tribunal globally for the first time in League of Legends. 

But, because standardizing player behavior features across the globe is a massive undertaking, it’s greatly slowed down our communication with players in specific regions (like NA). We’ve been trying to figure out how we can maintain the quality of dialogue, while still ensuring that every player around the world has access to that information. But, it’s a challenge when everything we’d want to discuss needs to be translated and localized in dozens of languages, then we need people like myself who are familiar with the systems actually interacting in every language at every timezone around the world. We’re learning every day on how to do this better, and we aren’t doing a great job today.



[ Question ] Why don’t you ask players on the Tribunal Ban Inquiries sub-forums for advice?


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte: We also know that there’s tons of bright players in TBI/PB forums, and we’ve rewarded them several times for their direct assistance on issues and in giving us a stronger player-perspective on certain things. We’ve invited players several times (if they live locally) to meet with us and talk about the features currently in progress. But right now, we know exactly what the problems are, exactly what we need to change in the systems, and exactly what dialogues we need to re-boot–we’re just trying to figure out how to do it better everywhere, instead of just NA. For example, TBI/PB forums on some servers have gotten 0 responses from anyone in Player Behavior in the entire server’s existence–we need to fix that.

Give us time, and we’ll figure it out. In the past, we’d just post the KB article in NA and sometimes it’d take months before it reached other servers–we can’t be that irresponsible anymore.



Caitlyn's Design Banner

Caitlyn’s been a hot topic recently, so here are more questions about her re-design answered by our favourite parrot!


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[ Suggestion ] Give Caitlyn a real hunting rifle


IronStylus Riotlink Button IronStylus: The way I see her gun is something of an heirloom. A trusty rifle that has served as her tool of choice and that’s a bit anachronistic compared to the other hextech weapons around her.




[ Question ] Will the team enhance her lore to connect more with Vi, Jinx and others from Piltover?


IronStylus Riotlink Button IronStylus: I think there’s some agreement that if we did tackle her we’d want to bring her more in line with Vi, Jayce and Jinx. That story and those connections should be strengthened in my opinion.




[ Question ] Did you aim for an actual officer look with Officer Caitlyn or was the design more of a pinup?


IronStylus Riotlink Button IronStylus: Can’t say at this point about skin production stuff but I wouldn’t see why anything on her Officer skin would change. It’s pretty much understood that she’s as much of an “officer” as you can be if you went into a costume shop to procure such a getup. It’s not supposed to represent the place where the cop fantasy lives. It’s pure novelty. 




[ Question ] Who is the artist behind Caitlyn’s new splash?


IronStylus Riotlink Button IronStylus: Not sure who made it. I’m not too in the loop when it comes to Splash’s cadence or stuff in production.




[ Question ] Where are you in the hierarchy of the concept art team as a Senior artist?


IronStylus Riotlink Button IronStylus: It goes: Intern -> Associate -> “artist”, there’s no “mid-level title -> Senior – Lead or Principle -> Director. 

That’s the rough version of the ladder.



[ Follow-up ] Is it “Director of art” or “Director of concepts”?


IronStylus Riotlink Button IronStylus: Usually it’s some sort of Art Director, but the director level often gets less craft-intensive, often focusing on broad initiatives, style, helping people with career development and other leadership duties. There aren’t often specific disciplines that have directors, though RiotBamDragon is our Animation Director, so some do.



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[ Question ] Is Joon Ahn a new recruit at Riot?


Note: Joon is a Concept Artist for Riot. I recently shared some of his art; you can check his full gallery here.


Zyra_WildfireRiotlink Button fafafafrani: He actually has been at Riot for about a year and a half. His summoner name is boogergames, but if you want to play with him you’ll need to keep in mind that he pretty much only plays Kat mid

You’ve seen his work before, when we had the freljord event
Here is the link to the Freljord image he worked on.…4_max_1200.jpg



[ Suggestion ] Use character design ideas from Dynasty Warriors 8 for future Warring Kingdoms Skins


Riot Whist Riotlink Button Riot Whist: I would love to get involved in creating more Warring Kingdom skins personally. There are a ton of cool things we could do.

I’ll bug the concept artists about it.



[ Suggestion ] No Fog of War Game Mode


Riot Tiki Riotlink Button Riot Tiki: I think a mode that plays around with FoW would be interesting, but one that removes and specifically targets new players is a bit tricky. One issue it might face is teaching something that’s going to be hard to unlearn. Namely that your early experience is having so much vision while the harsh reality is that for most games you play you never will have that much vision.

That begin said, it could be cool to have some variant of this idea as a teaching tool. I agree that the importance of vision is huge and something we could probably do a better of conveying to new players. Might make the lives of new and veteran players better 



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News Update June 5 Second


Official Announcements: DevBlog – Updating the Rift

Red Post Collection: Summoner’s Rift Update Q&A

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Devblog updating the rift banner


A new devblog has been released, detailing clarity, readability, visual fidelity, gameplay, thematic cohesion and performance of the new visual update for Summoner’s Rift.



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Button Rioter Riot Aeon: Welcome to the first dev blog for our update to Summoner’s Rift! We’ll be doing dev blogs until this update goes live in order to give you guys insight into what we changed and why we changed it. 

In general, with the update, we focused our efforts on five main points.

  1. Clarity and Readability
  2. Visual Fidelity
  3. Gameplay
  4. Thematic Cohesion
  5. Performance

I’ll try and provide a broad overview of these concepts and let future dev blogs tackle more focused topics. So let’s get into it!


Clarity and Readibility

A lot can happen in a game of LoL. A huge amount of visual and gameplay-related information is communicated all at once across the game UI, units and champions and, of course, the environment. We’ve all been in massive team fights where – after a few seconds – you find yourself staring at a gray screen, not entirely sure what just happened.

When a fraction of a second can mean the difference between life and death, it’s critical the game delivers the most important information at any given moment, in ways that are as clear and easy to understand as possible.

One way to think about this information is in a “visual hierarchy”. There are several different layers that constitute League of Legends’ visual hierarchy:

  1. In-game UI
  2. Champion and unit abilities and attacks
  3. Champions and units
  4. Environment

In Summoner’s Rift today, the environment can compete visually with other game elements. In the middle of a fight, you want to be laser-focused on where Jinx is and whether or not Amumu landed his bandage toss. The environment should make that information easier for you to parse at a glance.

So with this update to Summoner’s Rift, we’re controlling color and level of detail, clamping value ranges and reducing character occlusion (so there are less cases where you cannot see your character) — all of which makes for a cleaner gameplay space where critical information pops off the screen.


Additionally, there are some cases where creatures don’t clearly communicate their gameplay and relative threat. For example, Lizard Elder, one of our strongest creatures, looks about as challenging as wolves, one of the weakest camps. Wraiths (which look visually identical, other than size and color) have different types of attacks (the large wraith is ranged, and the small wraiths are melee), but you’d really never know by looking at them.

We‘ve made every effort to ensure each creature represents their gameplay and relative power-level clearly, while also preserving the core gameplay experience.


Gromp, for example, is a tough creature with a fairly powerful ranged attack. When compared to the weaker SR creatures, we want Gromp to look tougher and more dangerous. This is especially important for players new to jungling or LoL in general. We want players to know what they are getting into when they attack Gromp, or any creature. It’s pretty frustrating to attack what you think is a weak, melee creature only to be killed by what is actually a beefy, ranged monster.


Visual Fidelity

The team working on Summoner’s Rift is filled with many talented artists, and I am not one of them, so one of our art experts will dive deeper into visual fidelity in a later dev blog. But I will say the overall approach we used to develop Summoner’s Rift focused on four major concepts:

  • Any artwork we create, first and foremost, should enhance gameplay, clarity, and readability.
  • We want to use a stylized approach that will lead to visually stunning environments, minions, and creatures for many years to come.
  • Summoner’s Rift is a special place. In our work on the map, we’ve taken to describing Summoner’s Rift as a magic-infused, untamed, mountain top, fantasy forest; a place where we want to spend thousands of hours. While we are making major changes to the environment artwork, we strive to retain the similar mood, tone, and overall feel of the original.
  • Our UI, environments, as well as the champions, minions and creatures that inhabit them, should share a consistent quality bar that makes them feel cohesive to one another and toLeague of Legends as a whole.




For this update we focused on keeping gameplay intact as much as possible. We put a ton of effort into ensuring that even though the entire map looks quite different, the layout is nearly identical. Similarly, though many of the creatures look different (or are replaced by completely different creatures), we tried to keep every jungle camp’s gameplay as close to the original one’s as possible. You might notice a few minor differences initially but, in our playtests, players got used to the new camps very quickly.

However, we are making a few intentional changes aimed at making the overall experience better.


First, we added additional gameplay mechanics to Dragon and Baron Nashor to make fighting these monsters feel truly epic, while providing additional opportunities for predictability, optimization and emergent gameplay. The new version of Dragon has two unique area of effect attacks (a line attack much like Viktor’s E and a larger AOE explosion), and Baron has a host of abilities that aim to deliver much more of a boss-battle experience.


Second, we are fixing a ton of navigation bugs and inconsistencies between sides. For example, the south and north bases, which do not have closely-mirrored gameplay spaces on current Summoner’s Rift, are now almost completely mirrored so that the play space between sides matches much more closely.

We are also making a slight change to the game camera angle. This change is aimed at making skill-shots more accurate as they approach the edges of the screen as well as slightly increasing the amount of camera space at the bottom of the screen. We’ll go into more detail about this in our next dev blog that focuses on gameplay.


Thematic Cohesion

While there are plenty of thematic elements that are working on Summoner’s Rift, we thought we could do a better job of making the creatures and environment feel like they are anchored in the world of Runeterra. The south wolf camp is a good example. Wolves now live outside a bone-strewn cave from which magic is seeping out – affecting the wolves themselves as well as the nearby plants.




It doesn’t matter how great Summoner’s Rift looks if you can’t play it though.

Throughout our development, our goal has been to make this map perform at least as well as current SR and preferably even better. We haven’t hit our target performance yet but we are committed to getting performance as good as current SR by the time we release it.

We still have a ton of improvements to make on the tech side to optimize the experience, especially for lower end machines, so we’ll be keeping a close eye on this from now until the map goes live to everyone.

We’ll have more information coming so check back and let us know if you have any questions!



[ Question ] Won’t some old Champions (Sion, Morgana) look ugly when placed in the updated Rift?


RiotVitzkriegButton Rioter RiotVitzkrieg: This map update is part of our continuous evolution of League of Legends. It’s true that some of the older champs stick out for now, but as they receive visual updates everything will come together in glorious harmony 🙂




[ Question ] Is the “dark and dull” color range intentional so characters stick out more clearly?


RiotVitzkriegButton Rioter RiotVitzkrieg: That’s the general idea! Our primary goal is to make this map support the game played on top of it. The clarity section of the blog above explains it better.





Summoner Rift VU Q&A Banner

 I’ve split the questions into a few sections so they’re easier to navigate. Hope all your concerns are answered here!


Q&A Session



Player Concerns



[ Question ] Will my framerate drop in Summoner’s Rift after the update?


RiotForScience  Button Rioter RiotForScience: I want to reassure all of our players with this concern that we have been making choices since the earliest stages of the project to ensure low-end machine performance. Our low end machines will still be as performant, is some cases SR will run even faster with this update.



[ Follow-up ]


RiotForScience Button Rioter RiotForScience: In many cases the update will run better. Maintaining performance is our highest priority. The approach we have taken to updating the map actually uses 1/8th the polygons of the map on live.




[ Question ] So hardware demand won’t be pushed?


Riot Nightblue Button Rioter Riot Nightblue: Definitely. Our goal is to keep the level of performance on low-spec machines when we ship the map.





[ Question ] How much of a RAM (memory) difference is it going to be?


RiotVitzkrieg Button Rioter RiotVitzkrieg: We do currently have a larger memory footprint with this update, but by the time this is ready to ship we’re aiming to use the same amount as current Summoners Rift.



List of Concerns


Raptor6789: I’ve got a few concerns:

1. The caster minion auto attacks seem to be harder to notice and follow.
2. The jungle monster animations look nice and all, but they are a bit distracting from a gameplay standpoint.
3. Will any particles need to be updated to improve visibility on the new background?

Otherwise, great job – it really fits the art style used in the champion splash art.


RiotForScience Button Rioter RiotForScience: We are very mindful of the first 2 concerns that you brought up. The map is being optimized so that particles and effects are even more clear than they are currently.




[ Question ] Will we have to wait for the Dragon to finish his new animations before we can attack him?


RiotForScience Button Rioter RiotForScience: Dragon is timed so that he is attackable in the same spot and the same time that he currently is.





[ Question ] How can the updated map perform better than the live one when it looks so much prettier?


RiotForScience Button Rioter RiotForScience: We are being very very very careful to ensure that this update is as performant as the map that you are used to. On most computers this map actually performs better than the live map. We accomplished this by putting pressure on our textures and stripping tons of polygons out of the map. The map now uses 1/8th the polygons in most places on the map. I think you will be very happy with the result. We learned a lot of lessons from Howling Abyss.



[ Question ] How will Nunu be affected by the jungle monster changes? His Q buffs were all named after the jungle monsters. Are the buffs going to be renamed or changed?


RiotForScience Button Rioter RiotForScience: I am a Nunu main. We aren’t ready to talk about the solution yet, but this concern has not fallen through the cracks.





[ Question ] Will the camera angle remain the same?


RiotForScience Button Rioter RiotForScience: The camera angle is actually not the same. We have implemented a focal length similar to what we are using on Howling abyss. It should help skillshots, but does not correct the problem you bring up. We determined that the solution to that problem is out of the scope of the visual update of Summoner’s Rift.



[ Follow-up ]


RiotForScience Button Rioter RiotForScience: The focus of this project is to update the visuals of the map. The concerns you bring up are still being worked on, though primarily though different people.





[ Question ] Will jungle paths remain the same after the new spawn animations? (example, Lee Sin using Q to jump to camps)


RiotForScience Button Rioter RiotForScience: We are building the map carefully to preserve this type of functionality.

There are a couple areas on the map where the nav-mesh is buggy in one way or another (like spots where you can drop a ward that will not grant proper vision, or spots where you walk around nav-mesh that you cannot see) These issues are being resolved to de-bug gameplay.



[ Question ] Will Champions remain easily identifiable on the map, now that it’s significantly darker?


RiotForScience Button Rioter RiotForScience: Getting the champions to stand off against the background is one of our primary design goals. This will benefit gameplay clarity by creating a setting where VFX and champions will read much better.

It is much easier to tell what is going on in a 5v5 on the updated map.



Graphics and Design



[ Question ] Why is the Baron pit color changed from red/orange to purple?


RiotForScience Button Rioter RiotForScience: The Baron area definitely does feel a little purple. We made several choices like that throughout the map to help players orient themselves around major points of interest on the map, and of course Baron is a huge point of interest on the map.




[ Question ] Will you make the water particles react to player movement?


RiotForScience Button Rioter RiotForScience: I want to +1 this, we are still a ways from live and that is one of several features that are on the radar.




[ Question ] Why weren’t the Golems and Wraiths shown in the video?


RiotVitzkriegButton Rioter RiotVitzkrieg: The environments around those two camps weren’t quite ready for primetime when we shot the video. You’ll be able to see them when this goes to PBE though! The mini golems have become the Krugs (Stone armored creatures), and the wraiths have become the Razorbeaks (feathered creatures with razor sharp beaks).



[ Question ] Has the overall theme of the map changed from blue/purple to red/blue ?


RiotForScience Button Rioter RiotForScience: We have tried to create an orientation system in the visuals of the map. Areas closest to Baron are more barren, places distant from Baron Nashor are quite lush and overgrown. This all part of a strategy to help you always know where you are at a given moment, or when spectating a game.



[ Suggestion ] Change the shop bounds to match the fountain area instead of being centered around where the shopkeeper is


RiotForScience Button Rioter RiotForScience: That is a really good idea… and I don’t think we had considered it previously. I will talk to design about it.





[ Question ] Do the spawn animations for jungle monsters only occur if you’re there to see them?


Riot Nightblue Button Rioter Riot Nightblue: yes 





[ Question ] When this new visual update comes, what does that mean for other map skins for say, Harrowing? 


RiotForScience Button Rioter RiotForScience: Just like with Champions we do not generally do skins when we feel like the base requires a fundemental VU. This update does clear some hurdles out of the way for future projects like the one you mentioned.




[ Question ] Why did you choose red and blue? To help with colorblindness?


Super Nomegeta Button Rioter Nome or Die: If you recall, we recently changed allied health bars from green to blue, which meant that in game space, the only color-blind mode difference is between your own health bar. We’re hoping to eventually phase out color-blind mode altogether and unify color schemes–though a lot of this project isn’t related to this update to Summoner’s Rift.



[ Suggestion ] Add weather effects like rain


Riot TikiButton Rioter Riot Tiki: We’re definitely planning on some ambient, animated effects in the environment to help bring the map to life. Stuff like dust, rain, mist, etc. fall into that category.

One thing we have to keep a close watch on is how these affect game play though, we don’t want anything too distracting or that adds too much noise to the screen. We’ll be keeping a close eye on player feedback during PBE to make sure we’re hitting that!



[ Follow-up ] Could you have it so that there is a way to enable and disable these effects?


Riot TikiButton Rioter Riot Tiki: Good feedback on this! Something the team will have to look into as a possibility.





[ Question ] Does the white spark near jungle camps represent respawn timers?


Riot TikiButton Rioter Riot Tiki: That is correct Phoenix. We do have a system in place to help indicate when a creature is actually targetable after they spawn. That being said this is one of many possible approaches and one of things we’re trying to get feedback on during PBE.




[ Question ] Will towers have the same destruction effects such as those on the Howling Abyss?


RiotForScience Button Rioter RiotForScience: yup






[ Question ] Were the visuals inspired by Darksiders?


RiotForScience Button Rioter RiotForScience: Thanks, a couple members of the team (including myself) are Darksiders veterans, so I am not surprised if that aesthetic slipped through a little bit. That being said I think that when you get into the map you will find that it is it’s own distinct thing.



[ Question ] Will this update allow you to make Map Skins ?


RiotForScience Button Rioter RiotForScience: Well one big reason is that we cannot create skins on top of maps that really need a visual update. Now that SR is getting spruced up it clears the way for that type of work to be done in the future.




Audio and Themes



[ Question ] Will different music and themes be added to Summoner’s Rift with the rework?


RiotForScience Button Rioter RiotForScience: The Audio team has been working really closely with us, and many of the ideas that you have mentioned are things that we are developing.





[ Question ] Any chance that interactive dialogue will be added to the shopkeepers, like in Howling Abyss?


Riot Tiki Button Rioter Riot Tiki: We are planning to have some interactive dialogue with the shopkeepers, but this likely won’t be included during PBE. More of a live launch thing 




[ Follow-up ] Will you tone down how much they talk on Summoner’s Rift, compared to the Howling Abyss?


Riot Tiki Button Rioter Riot Tiki: Definitely good feedback, and that’s something on our radar. We are planning to tweak the frequency to make it a better experience. So you know, less repetitive 




[ Follow-up ]


RiotForScience Button Rioter RiotForScience: Our approach to shopkeepers is different from Howling Abyss. It is much more similar to how we handled them on HA than how they are currently in SR. We are trying to make them bit less obnoxious .




[ Question ] Is the music in the video going to be the new Summoner’s Rift music?


Riot Tiki Button Rioter Riot Tiki: We are planning on updating the music, but the direction for it is still evolving. We’ve got a couple of things in mind at this point but not a final direction. In the end, our goal is to update it while staying true to the spirit of Summoner’s Rift.




Single Posts banner



Playing non-meta picks does not, by itself, get you banned


Link to full story.


WookieeCookie Button Rioter WookieeCookie: Hey UnknownMartian!

I really enjoyed your story, and wanted to thank you for sharing it. Playing unconventional champions can be risky, but also really rewarding when you do it right. It sounds like you have the right attitude by picking champions you’re very comfortable with in ranked rather than a champion just for the lolz.

I don’t really want to get into the debate of Brand Support VS. another support. To be honest, I firmly believe that you can take almost any champion anywhere you want if you really understand the ins and outs of them.

I’m a big fan of Rammus support myself.

But given that you took the time to write out this story, I was curious and decided to take a look at the game as a whole.

It’s pretty clear to me that the game was lost due to Caitlyn’s attitude. And, the rest of your team seemed to agree with you. Although perhaps you were feeling pressure in the heat of the moment, you were actually only reported by the raging Caitlyn. On the other hand, Caitlyn was reported by everyone on your team, and even a few from the enemy team.

In addition, that particular Caitlyn has a history of abusing players. In the end I don’t really think it was the Brand Support pick which set her off. Given her past history it seems like she’s a ticking time bomb. Didn’t gank for her? Took a CS? Used your ping too much? Didn’t ward properly?

She gonna rage.

I wouldn’t stress too much about her to be honest. Given the rate of reports she’s receiving she’s going to get what’s coming to her. (and it’s going to be more than just chat restrictions!) (Thanks for reporting her too by the way! It’s important that you do this whenever you meet these kinds of players, it’s the best way for us to find and track them).

With all that said though, I would encourage you to try a few things out. Don’t feel obligated to chat with players or defend your choices in game. A lot of players may make a negative or neutral comment but they won’t follow it up with anything more after that unless an argument ensues.

If something bad happens in the game, my goal is to move past it as quickly as possible and forget about it. I also want the rest of my team to move on as well. Otherwise it’s a slow downward slide to loser town.

Chatting often causes more chatting. And more chatting causes standing around being mad. And standing around being mad causes poor map awareness and successful enemy ganks on your team members.

And to be honest, is there anything you can really say to satisfy the Caitlyn? I would really just mute her by that point. Play your best and carry, you don’t need to hear her annoying voice in your head every moment you play.



Duo Queue Restrictions


Socrates Button Rioter Socrates: Players,

We’re continually working towards improving the quality of ranked play. Beginning with patch 4.10, we’re introducing a new restriction for ranked duo queues so players will only be able to duo queue with teammates ranked between one full tier above or below them. For example, if you are Silver, you’ll be able to duo with players ranked Bronze to Gold.

We found that the vast majority of duos already invite players within these thresholds and games that had duos outside of these limits are perceived as lower quality. This also closes some loopholes that allow the potential for undermining the matchmaking system via smurf accounts.

Unseeded players who played in the previous season will use their previous season solo queue rank to determine duo eligibility. Unseeded players who have never played ranked will be able to invite Gold, Silver or Bronze players.

We strive to make ranked the pinnacle of competitive League play, and this restriction is meant to uphold the integrity of that competition while still allowing play between friends.

As always, share your comments and feedback below.

Happy hunting,




[ Opinion ] Summoner’s Rift is less colourful than it was before


Super Nomegeta Button Rioter Nome or Die: It’s disingenuous to say that the update to SR is getting rid of vibrant colors. It’s not entirely an art decision either; in many ways, it’s as much–or more–about gameplay clarity as it is about art. We specifically chose this direction to create a visual hierarchy: particles > characters > environment. All of the recent VUs, champions, and skins have been designed with this update and hierarchy ind mind, so we hope you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see how well they pop off the map–and of course, this applies retroactively to older assets as well.

Of course, the map IS still in progress–we haven’t done a lighting pass yet, for example; and plenty of features and assets have even yet begun being worked on. So just hang tight–and we do appreciate the feedback!



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