Posts Tagged ‘riot whist’


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Dunkmaster Darius Confirmed!

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TL;DR and a Big Announcement!


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Ingame Voice Chat Banner

A continuation of yesterday’s discussion on putting voice chat in League as a feature.



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[ Question ] Why do you consider the statistics from polls on General Discussion invalid?


Lyte Riotlink Button Lyte: The forum population isn’t an invalid population. It all depends what type of question you are asking, or what discussions you are trying to have. If you’re trying to ask the overall playerbase how they feel about voice chat, then it’s better to do it in-game to get the most representative sample of players.

However, the forum population is really engaged and passionate about certain topics, and tend to be players who participate in Ranked Modes. So, it’s perfectly fitting to engage the forum playerbase on issues like champion balance or issues related to competitive League.


Thresh_Splash_Lantern Riotlink Button davin: It definitely doesn’t invalidate statistics taken here, but those statistics are gathered under very different conditions (non-random sample, self-selection, different sample characteristics in that it’s folks who visit and post on forums, etc.). 

For things that affect the whole community, we can’t just rely solely on what a non-representative subset says. It wouldn’t be responsible or scientific. But that doesn’t mean it’s useless or that we should ignore it! We sure as hell will consider it alongside all the other information we gather, though. We’re not just slaves to data, we use a data-informed approach (i.e., gather information that helps illuminate a situation).

So when it comes to things like voice chat, research into the situation includes surveys, in-client random sample polling, analytics of what happens in those games, and examination of community sentiment. They all factor in. Multi-modal investigation is the name of the game 



[ Question ] When was the poll on voice chatting in LoL made?


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte: It’s a small pop-up at the end of game that was sent out to a random sampling of players. There’s usually no need to send a pop-up to every single player in League; in the social sciences, they’ve done a lot of work showing that surveying a % of the population can usually get meaningful results that represent the entire population as long as the sampling comes from a representative sample (which is why sampling on the forums would be inaccurate). Many social science studies may survey a few hundred people, but in League we usually survey thousands to tens of thousands and usually do surveys for each server separately.



[ Question ] Why haven’t you provided an explanation of the methods used in this research?


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte: Most of the designers and researchers involved with Player Behavior have published papers in the past, so we definitely feel your pain. However, I hope you understand why it doesn’t make sense for us to fully publish detailed methodology in the main post.

To answer some of your initial concerns:
1) It’s super easy for us to identify the use of voice chat through a few different approaches. One, for some apps we can detect whether they interacted with the LOL client in some way. Two, we can confirm this with a end-of-game survey asking players if they used voice chat in the current match (and studies have shown that players are pretty honest with these types of surveys, especially if it’s a neutral activity and not something viewed as socially undesirable). Three, we can analyze chat logs to determine the exchanging of voice chat information. Using combinations of these heuristics and others, we can figure out who in the set of 10 players is using voice chat. 

2) After figuring out #1, yes, we do split the analysis into games that are full premades vs full strangers and everything in-between. We do these splits for most analyses, even when looking at things like Reports and Honor. We have seen time and time again there’s huge differences in the data given the varying premade sizes in each game.

3) We actually also separate the analysis into Wins and Losses, as we sometimes see toxicity levels are higher only during losses for some factors; however, in this case, the numbers trended similarly for both wins and losses.



[ Question ] Were there any notable differences between regions?


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte:  We didn’t see any huge outliers in this research across regions, but there were some nuances in regions like Korea, where many players play in PC Cafes and not at home.




Average MMR in League and why women are mistreated in voice chat


I actually do have a claim, Since the spread of players in DotA is significantly different to that of League. There’s more higher ranked players(and a higher % average) than League has. Right now, pretty much everything under plat in League is 98% of the playerbase. DotA does not follow this, in either Ranked or Unranked. One of the reasons the lower MMR doesn’t have a huge % attached to it is because players that can’t play DotA well, often don’t play at all, or very often since it’s not as fun. So the Average MMR is around the middle, which in League terms would probably be about mid gold. Higher Average skill level of all players equates to having higher skilled females in the game. Especially since I constantly see them playing, are in teams with them, and know a few myself. 

5% 1100 10% 1500 25% 2000 50% 2250 75% 2731 90% 3200 95% 3900 99% 4100
100% 4300+
It’s VERY close to this(this is unranked MMR)
I also was not saying that it was a justification as to why women are treated differently in this game. I was merely stating it as one of the possibilities as to why. Which in all likelihood is probably correct, knowing male behavior.


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte:  Actually, looking at Elo distributions isn’t the right way to analyze something like this. In every game, the “average” Elo or MMR is arbitrary, and chosen by the designers. 

For example, if I decided that the matchmaking system sets every League player’s Elo/MMR to 2000 when they first join League, you would see over time that the League Elo distribution would have an average of 2000. The fact that DOTA, Smite, League and all these other MOBAs have different distributions of Elo/MMR is just because the designers chose different starting Elo values (and therefore, have different Elo distributions).

Having more female players be “1800 MMR” in League than “1800 MMR” in DOTA isn’t a fair comparison… because those numbers mean completely different things in each ecosystem. Read up Elo Systems on Wikipedia if you’re curious to know the math behind this.



[ Question ] Where are you getting your statistics from about toxic voice chat users?


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte:  Which aspect are you curious about?

For part of the analysis you are referring to, we use a sentiment analysis model to review chat logs from a random sample of non-voice chat using players to a random sample of voice-chat using players. Then we break down the analysis in terms of premade sizes, wins versus losses, so on and so forth.



[ Question ] Were all 5 members of each team in the voice-chat program for your testing friends? 


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte:  The key is whether all 5 people are friends or not. If all 5 players are friends and in voice chat, the experience is better. If all 5 players are strangers, the experience is worse. If some players are in voice, and some are in text, the experience is worse.




[ Opinion ] If there are more highly-rated players and larger average MMR, there will be more high-skill female players


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte:  You may want to read up on Elo Systems on Wikipedia.

Do a thought exercise: if I just added a ‘0’ to everybody’s MMR in League of Legends, they’d now have more average MMR than other games. There’s no point comparing Elos across games unless they use the same variables.

You even mentioned that if we raised starting Elo to 2000, the new Bronze 5 might be 1700 MMR. You just explained why we simply can’t compare average MMR across games, unless the scales and baselines are the same.



[ Question ] Have you talked to similar studios about implementing voice chat?


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte: It’s an interesting point. A few other studios who are making MOBAs have also decided to not implement voice chat, and have done similar research. 

The study I mentioned did their research on Halo, but I imagine many of these findings apply across games/studios.



[ Question ] Isn’t toxicity a result of people being anonymous on the Internet?


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte: I’ve heard it said often that people believe toxicity is linked to how much anonymity there is in a given context; however, several studies and experiments have shown that that’s not true. In fact, the key to whether toxicity is present is not whether there is anonymity, but whether there are consequences for actions.

For example, a lot of news websites and social media sites started adding open comment systems that allowed people to comment on public articles or posts, but only if they logged in to Facebook or other apps that revealed your real name and your profile photo. Very quickly, these sites all realized that reducing the anonymity in these contexts did absolutely nothing in reducing the toxicity of the comments and you still had extremely sexist, racist, prejudice or homophobic comments even when people were forced to reveal their “real” name and profile photo.

I emphasized “real” name because I suppose it’s possible for people to create social media accounts that have fake names for the sole purpose of commenting on public articles and posts, but it wasn’t the norm by any means.

One of the greatest misunderstandings is that voice chat will reduce anonymity, which will reduce toxicity.



[ Suggestion ] Why not have different ways of punishment / reinforcement, so you affect a wider spectrum of players?


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte: You’re touching on the key point, which is that different players respond to different punishments. We find that on average, about 67% of players improve their communication patterns after just 1 chat restriction experience. If players get chat restrictions and a reform card from the Tribunal that outlines exactly what behaviors led to their punishment, the reform rate goes up to ~75% (varies a bit depending on the server).

To give a comparison, about 60% of players improve their behaviors after a game ban, and about 70% of players improve their behaviors after a game ban and receiving a reform card. So, on average, chat restrictions tend to do a bit better than game bans when it comes to reform rates; however, game bans tend to force players to create smurf accounts and shift toxicity to lower level players, so there’s an additional consequence to using game bans compared to chat restrictions.

We’re also able to do things like restrict players from specific queues, or remove Ranked Rewards, or a combination of any of these penalties. We’ve also considered things like suspending the ability to use skins or specific champions… but these are untested outside of our research labs so far. 

Regarding positive reinforcement, we’ve always had more plans to add a few more features to Honor. Unfortunately, we pivoted the team to work on Team Builder and want to get back and finish Honor after because we believe it has some of the greatest potential to encourage positive behavior. For example, in the new Tribunal, players that are highly honorable will have a chance to be reviewed in the Tribunal, and if their peers vote them as positive, they will get a reward in-game.



[ Question ] What’s a reason not to implement voice chat, aside from it making toxic players harder to track?


LyteRiotlink Button Lyte: I mentioned this somewhere else, but if a player is using voice chat with strangers and a part of the team is not using voice chat… then on average, the player using voice chat is more toxic in their text-based communication.

So actually, voice chat in many cases makes it even easier to track these players because they end up being toxic in text to the other players on their team who aren’t in voice chat.



Lee Sin's Dominance Banner



Lee Sin’s win rate isn’t indicative of his power level


Cedriel Riotlink Button Cedriel: There is one thing that you touch on in your post that I liked, bait or not: win rates are not a good indicator of how over/underpowered a champion is. This is because most champions—regardless of strength—are at a disadvantage against certain kinds of kits and playstyles, and so strong champions end up popularizing their own counters.

The way this plays out is fairly complex. A champion’s viability in the metagame depends on how wide of a champion pool can exploit its weaknesses, the general utility and viability of those champions, how it’s affected by itemization changes, and its best-case and worst-case performance against other viable champions. Picture a fighting game-style matchup chart (e.g.,…chup101a-1.png) but with over 100 characters, complicated by having distinct roles and team dynamics and variable item builds.

The metagame stabilizes as people try all these different combinations in play and figure out strategies that work. In the current metagame what has happened is that Lee Sin’s effectiveness as a duelist and extreme mobility make him very effective at counter-jungling and counter-ganking: he can go into your jungle, pick a 1v1 fight in which he has an advantage, and escape by ward-hopping over walls if things get ugly. He also brings both good ganking capability and fair team fight utility. In other words, he’s strong in all areas but exceptionally strong in demolishing the enemy jungler.

The S4 jungle roster has been defined by Lee Sin and the few champions that can take him on evenly in duels while also offering good ganking/team-fight value: Elise, Kha’zix (pre-changes) and Eve (who is viable by playing a different game than the previous three). What win-rates in high-level play reflect is that Lee Sin is well-balanced against these three champions. What they don’t reflect is that he’s crowding out a large number of characters who would simply get pushed out of their own jungle if they got picked.

I think you (OP) realize that both sides in the Lee Sin debate have a point: yes, he does have a high skill-cap; yes, he is rarely banned in high-level play; yes, he has an average win-rate and does not significantly outperform other champions in LCS. Yes, he is extremely strong in the early-game; yes, his kit allows him to demolish many other junglers; yes, he doesn’t require that much skill to do all of this; yes, he doesn’t have significant weaknesses. All of these things are true.

In my eyes, Lee Sin is problematic in that he’s a determining factor for the reduced pool of champions we see in the jungle. I hope that our live balance team can come up with a way to keep his core identity (and the fun factor of comboing his abilities) intact while diminishing his ability to crush a large share of jungling champions.



[ Opinion ] Tank jungles aren’t viable solely because of Lee Sin


CedrielRiotlink Button Cedriel: I wouldn’t say that. Again, a lot of factors influence what is viable in the metagame and what isn’t. Lee Sin is a factor, yes, but if he were to get nerfed I doubt that you would instantly start seeing tank junglers popping up in LCS. Lee Sin existed in S3 too, you know.



[ Question ] Why did Riot reverted the changes suggested for Lee Sin ?


CedrielRiotlink Button Cedriel: Pwyff, who has much more insight into all of this than I do, talked about the Lee Sin changes here.

TL;DR: It’s complicated.



[ Opinion ] I’d rather have Lee Sin’s power adjusted through changes/buffs to other Champions


CedrielRiotlink Button Cedriel: I don’t have visibility into what our balance team is planning for Lee Sin, but they’re doing good work in boosting the viability of support / tanky junglers via itemization.




Dunkmaster Darius Banner

Dunkmaster Darius will be coming soon, as a legendary skin! Here‘s the Reddit thread where I got the images from.


Dunkmaster Darius Splash Art

Dunkmaster Darius Splash Art

Dunkmaster Darius Model

Dunkmaster Darius Model

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Dunkmaster Darius Q

Dunkmaster Darius W

Dunkmaster Darius W

Dunkmaster Darius E

Dunkmaster Darius E

Dunkmaster Darius R

Dunkmaster Darius R


Lots more on the making of Dunkmaster Darius:

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[ Question ] Why did you state that boobs and miniskirt are what define Caitlyn’s design?


Riot Whist Riotlink Button Riot Whist: My intent when I made the post you’re referring to was not that it is what defines Caitlyn, rather it was pointing out that base Caitlyn also has a boob window and a skirt on. I later posted in that thread to confirm that yes her main reads are hat and gun and I was just responding to mention of the other things. That post was intended to provide context and reasons for those elements appearing in the skin.

Everybody working on the skin is pretty happy to see Caitlyn a bit more armored up – she feels more badass and powerful. I think the version we have now will make a lot of players who took issue with it happy.

For a little extra context on it:
She lost armor in production as we worked on ways to make sure she was still readable as Caitlyn (her legs and arms became more bare for the color contrast to help the gun pop). We’re changing her because we do agree with the complaints she is getting, exposing skin to make the gun pop was, in the end, not the only way to make her read correctly.

And this is why we have PBE, it’s not just for balance changes. We want this feed back so we can fix red flags before the skins go on sale. We are extremely open to community opinion and I hope the skin update helps prove that.

I’m also working to try to better word posts in the future so players can more easily understand my points and not accidentally take it out of context.



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


News Update June 26 Banner


PBE: Updated Headhunter Caitlyn Model

Red Post Collection

Single PostsCan you get a chat ban without typing?

Fan Art Showcase: Joon Ahn Art, Irelia Action Figure and Baron Art


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PBE: Updated Headhunter Caitlyn Model


HH Cait has had the weird alien face on her head replaced with a shiny new helmet and her arms are now wrapped in armor. Also, her right thigh is covered in metal.



New Headhunter Caitlyn Turnaround


New *head, arms and right thigh

Updated Headhunter Caitlyn



Caitlyn VU And Armored Ladies Banner

IronStylus continues to gather feedback on a possible visual rework for Caitlyn.


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IronStylusRiotlink Button IronStylus: Related question:

If you were to pick which actress would play Caitlyn in a movie, who would it be?

Post suggestions and I’ll see what I can work into any potential VU 😛



[ Follow-up ]


Morgageddon Riotlink Button Morgageddon: Morgageddon pops in.

Yvonne Strahovski.





IronStylus worked on Ahri

IronStylus Riotlink Button IronStylus: And the original Sejuani.





[ Question ] What do you think about the low amount of armored ladies in the league, and how do you plan to address this?


IronStylus Riotlink Button IronStylus: Probably doubling down on Poppy when she comes around.





[ Opinion ] I’m pretty sure that the benefits of wearing pants and not needing to worry about cuts and abrasions far exceed the “freedom of movement” gained by the miniskirt.


IronStylus Riotlink Button IronStylus: Tactical mini-skirt?





[ Question ] Why can the men of Freljord walk around shirtless and exposed but Sejuani can’t show midriff?


IronStylus Riotlink Button IronStylus: Not sure, didn’t design any topless Freljord champions. The Bravo Ray is your man for Braum and this is mainly a Caitlyn thread.




[ Question ] How conflicted is the art team between having Poppy be an adorable ball of murder like Tristana and her current charm of being an ugly little munchkin (outside of, say, Battle Regalia Poppy)?


IronStylus Riotlink Button IronStylus: I’d suggest starting a Poppy thread if you’re curious, though I don’t have too much to say on the subject at the moment. But that aside, I don’t think she has much “adorable” in her. Being a yordle is probably only the real thing tying her to a “cute” trope.



[ Question ] Wasn’t your reasoning for the no bikini armor Sej because she was in the cold? If so, as the art lead, shouldn’t you want consistency for all the champs?


IronStylus Riotlink Button IronStylus: I’m not the art lead. I’m one of a few senior concept artists. There’s one for each content team. Champions, Skins, Champion Update.




[ Opinion ] Champion design moving from “fun” to “serious”


I’d like to say that Sej’s old design was fine because of the time she was released. The concepts back in early 2012 were fun, even if they were lacking in creativity. I mean, we have an anchor wielding diver, a bomber squirrel, magic smurf hippie, snobby french Nikasaur and Badlands/Tundra Barbarian Babe. Right after Lulu, we were suddenly smashed with champion after champion who tried to be ‘Cool,’ with the two exceptions being DRAAAAAAAAAAAVEN and Jayce, the latter of which caused a huge ****storm when he was released due to lore.

After Jayce, we had Angry Plant Lady, Angry Moon Lady, Angry Cat Man, Angry Psychic Lady, Angry Mantis Alien, Evil Spider Lady, Angry Ninja. Even when we were supposed to take Sej seriously, she still was a relic of the time– when LoL champ releases were more goofy/outrageous/cool/fun. Even ignoring the handwave of a reason why she was in a bikini, it still made sense in the context of LoL champs, because the game was more cartoonish. Something I personally liked, and am saddened by riot removing from the game.


On the subject of Caitlyn, the only thing I’m expecting is a hat larger than she is.


IronStylus Riotlink Button IronStylus: This is a very well constructed, thoughtful, and in many ways, valid point. This is not an isolated opinion, and I understand very much where you’re coming from.




[ Off-topic ] Why are you getting hate by the community?


IronStylus Riotlink Button IronStylus: Reasons 

Edit: Champion Update is the Live Design of art and theme. I’m bound to get some flack. I’ve grown to accept it.



Curse Voice Debate Banner
 The discussion on why Curse Voice is still blacklisted continues on the forums.


[ Question ] Why is Curse Voice banned for being voice chat software when pros have to use 3rd party programs to communicate?

Riot Sargonas Riotlink Button Riot Sargonas: There are two answers to this, one – Pros are a 5 man premade, and just like my previous answer we don’t care about friends in voice chat or voice chat in general for that matter. We care about strangers being prompted by third part software to join each other together in chat using methods and tools that interact directly with our game. Secondly, believe it or not the pros don’t use voice chat like you think they do in competition. As it happens, their headsets are all hardwired together via a mixunit. They are not using voice software, but old school direct cables.


[ Trolling ] If people are being banned for using Curse Voice, why not ask them to shut down the service?

Riot Sargonas Riotlink Button Riot Sargonas: We’re not asking them to shut it down because Curse Voice is a tool for all gamers to use in any game, not just LoL. It’s a great voice client that does good things outside out ecosystem, and it’s unfair to them and players for us to take that route. Also, people are not getting banned at this time for using the app, so taking our time to resolve it diplomatically is of no harm to the players.



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[ Question ] Can you get a chat ban without typing?


Lyte Riotlink Button Lyte: I’m currently out of the office so I can’t look at your specific account; however, there’s some misunderstandings to how the system works.

If you were communicating in a toxic manner, you’ll get a chat restriction; it’s nearly impossible to get your first chat restriction without behaving toxic in some way.

However, what happens afterwards varies a lot from player to player. In each case, after the chat restriction ends for a player, the system reviews all the games you played recently and tries to determine if you’ve improved your behavior. If your behavior has gotten worse, you will get even more chat restrictions than what you got in the previous set of restrictions. If your behavior has improved dramatically and you are in neutral or positive standing, you will receive no chat restrictions. If you don’t talk at all, it’s still better than communicating in a toxic way so you may receive a few chat restrictions until you are in better standing. In fact, many players never talk in League of Legends and just use smart pings to communicate in-game and that’s perfectly fine.

If the system is unsure about your current standing (because you never talked in your past sets of games, or you showed both positive and negative patterns of behavior in your games), you’ll receive a few more chat restrictions so the system can collect more data. In ambiguous or extreme cases, Player Support will also assist the system with manual review of the data to determine next steps; for example, some players who become even more negative after a chat restriction may end up losing their Ranked rewards or receive permanent account bans if Player Support feels like the player is unlikely to ever reform.



[ Question ] Which support benefits from Ardent Censer?


Riot Whist Riotlink Button Riot Whist: I find it really nice on support Karma, especially since chalice’s nerf to mana regen I don’t find that to be a must buy. Now I typically just get me some spooky ghosts and censor.

The movespeed from the two items is super useful to allow Karma to kite even harder.



[ Question ] Do you ban streamers who use cheats?


Riot Boompje Riotlink Button Riot Boompje: Sure. Whenever we find people who are using tools we don’t want them to use, we punish them. But Naming & Shaming is something we simply don’t want on the forums. If you see someone on stream using such tools, take screenshots (as you did) and send a ticket to our player support (use the button on the top right). That way, you will report them and we will notice your report guaranteed.



Fan Art Showcase Joon Ahn


Do you love League art? Check out some previous showcases!



Fan Art Enijoi

Fan Art School Designers


Katarina and Ashe in Freljord by Artist Joon Ahn


Note: Joon Ahn is a Concept Artist working for Riot.





Baron Art by NA Summoner Ice Hippo


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Irelia Action Figure by NA Summoner Luigi87







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


Skins Concept Team QA Banner

The awesome guys and gals working on bringing you splash arts, skins and visual updates have hosted a Q&A session on the forums! I’ve taken their replies and have split them into sections for ease of reading. Enjoy!


Concepts Mini Banner



[ Dragowynd ] What is the general process from the idea to the finished skin?


Riotlink Button RiotPenguin: No problem!

So the general skins processes looks something like this:

Ideation/Concept: So we start with a wide spread of quick sketches that could work for a given thematic. Once we have a direction we are excited about, we refine it down until we have a clear, final 2D concept, complete with abilities, etc.

3D/Rigging: Now that we have a concept, it’s off to the 3D guys to build out the concept, texture it, and prepare it for the tech artists integrate into the game.

Animation/VFX/SFX: Now that the character is running around, the animators, VFX, and SFX artists start working their magic to really bring the skin to life

QA/PBE: Once the art side of things is complete, the skin is tested, vetted, and sent to PBE, before being green lit and shipped live!

Even though each step is done by a different discipline, the entire process is highly collaborative – so it’s always a back and forth, and no one person is solely responsible for any one element 🙂

Duration of each step changes based on the complexity of the skin, but it generally takes about two weeks for each step (concept, 3D, animation, VFX, SFX, QA, etc.)



[ Cero0o ] What’s the very beginning of the conceptualization process like? Do you find yourself working more from trope ideas, basic visuals of what a possible skin could look like, or perhaps maybe just trying to fill in the blanks as far as characteristics of certain champions go? 


Riotlink Button RiotPenguin: So in general we start with a loose concept and a broad spectrum of possible ideas, and then narrow the design down as the team hones in on elements they are excited about.

But in general, each artist has their own way of approaching concepts. I like to start with really quick speed sketches, I know Bravo Ray prefers really clean linework from the beginning, and Zeronis sacrifices to the dark heathen gods of old, to absorb the souls of other artists and keep him young. So…you know, to each his own.



[ CaptainMårvelous ] Has there ever been an amazing concept or idea that you put aside because of a champion VU or said champion having too many skins?


Riotlink Button RoadKillsRevenge
: We go as deep as possible, so yeah, for someone like Heimerdinger we would also sketch ideas for his turrets, and other abilities.



[ CaptainMårvelous ] How deep does your concept art go? Do you make a skin and be done with it or go further with example particles and the like?


Riotlink Button RoadKillsRevenge
: We go as deep as possible, so yeah, for someone like Heimerdinger we would also sketch ideas for his turrets, and other abilities.



[ CaptainMÃ¥rvelous ] Say I have a skin concept but I’m not artist. Do you guys only look at concepts if they’re drawn up or do you read everything in the realm of skin ideas?


Riotlink Button RoadKillsRevenge
: It definitely doesn’t need to be a great piece of artwork to sell an idea for a skin. We get ideas from every department in the company as well as fans which could be quick little sentence, to goofy photobashes, terrible ms paints, etc. Its all good.



[ Reventón ] Have you planned to do a new “collection” like the Pentakill and Dragonslayer one ?


Riotlink Button TheBravoRay: Yes we would love to explore more five man comps and team based thematics.



[ Cero0o ] How did Primetime Draven start out?


Riotlink Button RiotPenguin: So we explored a lot of different “Shoutcaster” themed skin ideas for different champions, and Draven was the one that really stood out from the bunch because. You know. DRAAAAVEN 😉



Skins Priority Mini Banner



[ Lord Graves III ] Why do characters who have many skins get more skins and champs who have few (if any past release skins) get passed over?


Riotlink Button RiotMindbullets: 

  • First and foremost, for every skin, we want an awesome idea. Champions like Urgot and Malzahar are examples of champions we continue to ideate on, but just haven’t come up with that knock-out idea yet.

  • We definitely look at champions without many skins or that haven’t gotten anything in a while. This is something that’s on our minds at all times–Rumble FINALLY got a skin this year, but we took our time to make sure it was the right one. And we’ve got Skarner on our radar, we just want to make sure we get them something they deserve.

  • Complexity of a champion can impact our ability to make something we feel is awesome too. Champions like Kha’Zix and Zac are awesome, but they’re a little more complex to make skins for so it takes us some extra time to sort out some of the issues. Zyra/Rumble were in this category as well. We’re really happy with the way Graveyard Zyra and Super Galaxy Rumble came out, but they encountered a bunch of road bumps along the way. They were totally worth overcoming, but we need to make sure we leave room to conquer those challenges effectively.

  • Popularity does factor in, but it’s not the only factor. There are a lot of variables that go into our champion selection, including time from the last skin the champ has received (as mentioned above!), number of skins the champ has so far, upcoming relevant holidays and events, and many more! We also have to balance this with what some of the other teams are working on too—occasionally, we’ll be ideating on a champ internally that’s getting a VU soon, so we’ll coordinate with the other team to maximize our efforts.

Popularity is just one thing that helps us understand what you guys as players are finding most relevant to League at the time. Sometimes, we’ll come up with an incredible idea that trumps this as well. Again bringing up Rumble here—he was way towards the bottom of most played champions. When we feel like we’ve got a killer idea we want to get it to players that play that champion, even if they aren’t popular at the time.

As a Malzahar main I know what it’s like to wait a while for a skin; it’s tough. We want to try to minimize this as much as possible, but unfortunately sometimes it doesn’t work out. Main thing I’d like to get across is that just because a skin hasn’t come out doesn’t mean we’ve given up! We’re usually working through the issues we encounter to try to get some awesome stuff out to people who play that champion as quickly as possible.



[ KaidenTL ] Are you guys currently working on the next ultimate skin?


Riotlink Button RiotMindbullets: We’ve got an idea and we’re definitely working on how to make it happen. It’s totally fun but a lot of work.

We want to blow everyone away with our next one, but unfortunately no hints or clues to leak just yet!


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[ Cero0o ] What goes into the translation from splash art into the actual in game model? It’s very interesting to see the relation between 2D and 3D, so how much do the two tend to work off each other, and in what direction?


Riotlink Button RiotPenguin: Actually the splash art is one of the later steps in the process. The splash art starts once the model and abilities are all in progress, so the splash artist can get a full understanding of how the skin will look and feel in game. Then they roll all that together, and try and really capture the mood of the skin in one snapshot of glory!


[ CaptainMÃ¥rvelous ] What’s the most challenging skin you guys have worked on?


Riotlink Button RoadKillsRevenge
: The ultimates like Pulsefire Ezreal and Spirit Guard Udyr stand out in memory partly because the extra features they have but also because theres a lot more eyes and feedback on a skin when you go for that higher level.



[ CaptainMårvelous ] Why the lack of finished skin lines?


Riotlink Button RoadKillsRevenge
: Tell us which skin lines you aremost interested in seeing more of! We don’t really set out to make each skin theme a full team but if we see a cool opportunity and we think it will have a lot of community excitement then hells yeah.



[ Felvyne ] Do you take community’s fanmade skins as a base sometimes or only when they are really popular?


Riotlink Button TheBravoRay: We are always reading the forums for great ideas. If one is really strong, we try to analyze the concept, figure out why it is working and where areas it is not.

This does not mean has to be the most popular, just that the thematic can work well for that champion.



[ The Soulful ] What are some of the hardest champs to give skins for?


Riotlink Button RiotZeronis: Champions with a lot of assets like Zyra. Even Zac because of the complexity of his animation.


Riotlink Button Riot Whist:  Champions with multiple forms is the easy answer here.

Champions like Shyvanna are essentially double the work to create one skin.


Riotlink Button RoadKillsRevenge
: To me the most challenging champs are ones that are small and slender and share similar body shapes to other champs. It can be tough to make them dramatically different enough to be exciting while still retaining the recognizability of the character. Someone like Fiora for instance can be tough because she doesn’t take up much visual space in game and if you make too dramatic a change to her costume she starts to be hard to recognize. Someone like Alistar on the other hand, you can do a lot too and hes so big in game it feels like it has a dramatic impact.



[ Ormlin ] How long does it take to design a skin from start to finish?


Riotlink Button RiotZeronis: It really depends on the amount of assets that the champion has and the tier of the skin. 2 weeks is sort of the average time it takes to complete a concept before production. Legendary and Ultimate generally takes longer than that.


Riotlink Button RiotZeronis: It really depends on the tier of the skin and complexity of the skin. Champions with tons of model assets like Zyra would take longer than that since she has plants, seeds, and a lot of particles to re-concept for the skin.



[ Fridgecake ] How often do you see a skin on the various sites out there and think “That’s an amazing idea for a Skin, but we’ve just not got the time”?


Riotlink Button RoadKillsRevenge: That happens a lot. I don’t think we will run out of ideas anytime soon.


[ Hellioning ] Are we going to get more silly skins soon?


Riotlink Button Paulewog: I haven’t been at riot too long but since I’ve been here it seems we sometimes have “seasons” In which we inspire each other to create more of a certain type of skin; however, while we are doing some pretty bad-ass skins lately we as a team definitely embrace that skin lines like pool-party, snowdown, and gentlemen hold a very special place in players (as well as our own) hearts. This season is certainly is not the last of those laughter inducing troll-fests!



[ Synval ] How far can a skin go from the base champion model? How do you decide what is necessary to be copied over to every skin?


Riotlink Button RiotMindbullets: One of the most important things is a champion silhouette. As long as the champion is still recognizable, we can break out of traditional design, but it is very much a gut check. The goal when making a skin is to find out what, at a glance, screams “this is ‘x’ champion” and try to play up those elements. The thing we really try hard to avoid is having the instant reaction of “Wait, who is this again?” because that is very detrimental to gameplay.

One of the tricks the team uses is to squint at the screen so that you can’t make out fine details and see if you can still recognize the champion. When we can add interest with things that thematically make sense like the winter Scarf on the new Varus skin then we’re all for it as long as it helps them pass the test!



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[ mcg1986 ] What are some things to keep in mind when sending in your portfolio for potential employment? 


Riotlink Button RiotPenguin: It’s important to remember that it’s not all about pretty details. You can be able to paint photorealistically, but if your characters/environments don’t tell a compelling story, no amount of detail will keep people interested. It’s the difference between a game you play once, and a game you keep coming back to years later. Obviously there’s a professional quality bar you need to be able to hit, but you also need to be able to demonstrate that you can think beyond badass dudes with spiky armor and huge swords. What’s that dudes story? Why does he look the way he does? What’s the interesting twist that you haven’t seen in a movie/game before?



[ mcg1986 ] Do you look for a wide range of skills or someone with more concentrated talents?


Riotlink Button RiotPenguin: Having a wide set of skills certainly doesn’t hurt, but ONLY if you have a very clear strong, central focus. A wide range of styles will for sure help give you an edge over someone who only does one thing…but if that other dude’s one thing is a lot stronger than any of your diverse styles, he still has a better chance of getting hired.



[ mcg1986 ] What were your paths that lead you in to your current positions with Riot?


Riotlink Button RiotPenguin: I got an under grad in Digital Media, and then grad school for Computer Science, which gave me the background I needed to start doing contract work – But what actually got me HIRED was demonstrating my ability to solve complex design problems quickly, and be a positive person to work with 🙂



[ mcg1986 ] Any pointers for professional freelancers looking to get their feet wet in studio work?


Riotlink Button RiotPenguin: Don’t be afraid to start small, and do something that isn’t exactly your ‘favorite’ thing. There is a LOT you can learn and experience by interning at a smaller, more flexible studio, that you may not get from starting somewhere larger more established. With smaller teams, each person has more responsibility, and you have more opportunities to interface with other types of developers. I personally spent my first year at riot working on things that had nothing to do with character design, and only joined Skins later, and I learned a TON from it.

And ultimately the most important thing to remember, and I cannot stress this enough, is It’s about WHAT you do, not WHERE you do it! – You will be dedicating tens of thousands of hours to this craft, so make sure you are doing it because you LOVE it, not because you think it sounds cool to work at a big name video game company. Jobs come and go, but as the saying goes…if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life 😀



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[ Siachi ] Are there any particular skins you feel very proud of designing?


Riotlink Button Paulewog: Another tough question,

I enjoyed the opportunity to work on Heart-seeker Ashe the most! the tone of the skin was definitely not subject matter I would normally be into drawing but that’s what made the challenge so fun! Seeing great cosplays of the skin was one of the most rewarding experiences here at Riot for me!



[ kry0gen ] Have you considered doing cursor skins?


Riotlink Button Riot Whist:  I can’t say I’ve ever heard anybody talk about cursor skinning but I’ll be sure to mention it if we ever move forward on ideas like UI skins!



[ BobtehN8b ] Have any of you guys ever made a skin out of pure humour/interest with no intention on releasing it? 


Riotlink Button RoadKillsRevenge
: Someday, Blind Funk, Someday….



[ zQ fRZZ ] Have you ever thought about a “Rodeo” skin for Thresh?


Riotlink Button RiotMindbullets: Pretty sure this idea came up in one of our sessions where just come up with what we think are cool skin ideas for a champion. It’s a pretty cool idea. Not sure if it’s one we’ll actually make (maybe we’ve found something we think Thresh players will think is even better 🙂 ) but we’ve thought of it!



And that’s all!



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