Posts Tagged ‘scruffy’


QA 11 12 Banner

Game designers Fearless, Ghostcrawler and all held Q&As on the official forums. Here are all the questions they answered:



Recent News Banner

PBE Update 11 12 Banner

Poppy in Store Banner


INTRO Jo Fearless Graylock Lead Designer Gameplay Systems

Fearless New PortraitWHO AM I?

Hey everyone, I’m Jo Graylock. Before I came to Riot I was an RPG designer for most of a decade, as well as Jiu Jitsu instructor and metal radio show host. The vast majority of my developer experience comes from my time at Obsidian Entertainment. Lots of awesome people making awesome games there, but I couldn’t pass up a chance to work on my favorite game.

I try to play a ton of everything, but favorites are LoL, Fallout 1 and 2, Xenoblade Chronicles, Tactics Ogre, Dino Run, FTL, and Risk of Rain, with healthy amounts of D&D and Warmachine at the table. When not gaming, I’m usually doing lots of tabletop painting, playing volleyball, or spending time with family.

I currently own: 2 cats.


I started as an individual contributor at Riot, working on the Sona update before moving into systems work, first on the Jungle Update for 2015 before following up with Cinderhulk. After that, I moved to lead the Lead Design spot for Gameplay Systems. I’ve been lead for the Juggernaut items and the 2016 Season work so far. I’m really looking forward to keeping this season exciting throughout the entire year.


I’m going to be here to talk about all the systems stuff in LoL. This means items, the map, the jungle, and all the other rules level stuff in the game. A lot of our changes can be pretty easy to miss, but also a little mysterious or obscure. I’m really excited to bring this stuff into the light, as well as the reasons behind why we change the game. I’m also really happy to talk about how we work as designers, both in what our day to day looks like, and some stories about how we think about problems and overcome them. Riot designers were super inspiring to me before I got here, and I’d love to give back a bit of my time to pay that forward.


Let’s talk about stuff, for realzies. The openness and honesty of Riot was a big reason to work here, and I’d like to keep that tradition going. 🙂

EDIT: Going to meetings for a bit, will be back around dinner time.

EDIT2: Alright, heading out for some dinner. Thanks for talking everyone! Look forward to a lot more!

[ Link to Post ]



Are you guys going to rework Guinsoos Rageblade

Guinsoos Rageblade Final IconWe are looking to slowly reduce power, but the base goal is one we want to keep. Just need to pull levers to get it into balance.

[ Link to Post ]



Whatre your thoughts on the AP CDR gap with items like Essence Reaver

Essence Reaver IconCurrent thought is that max CDR shouldn’t be something that mages just get by accident, and should be something that actually has meaningful trade-offs. ADC builds are still very much in flux and we’re actively still looking into tweaks to make sure that going into Reaver is powerful, but has a few more trade-offs as well. 5.24 has a small change to delay the rate at which ADC’s get the full CDR, which should help with how free that stat is currently. Totally possible we’ll need to do more there still.

[ Link to Post ]



Whatre the plans for underwhelming Juggernaut items like Steraks Gage

Steraks Gage Final IconWe have some more communication on this coming next year. TLDR is that these items are all answering the question we wanted them to answer, but some could still get some small changes to adjust how well they answer those questions.

[ Link to Post ]



Are there plans to create a more defined subclass of AP Juggernauts

Fearless New PortraitWe’ve talked little bits about these guys, but the crowd is pretty small. Given that we have some pretty large blocks of champs that are in very difficult spots, my guess is that the work on this group might be a ways off. That or they might get some love from the projects targeted towards other groups. That tends to happen a lot when it comes to systems projects, just because everything is so interconnected.

[ Link to Post ]



Whats happening to Cull

Cull IconCull is on watch, and probably needs a small buff. Staring items are extremely sensitive to small changes, so have to tread carefully.

[ Link to Post ]




What kind of designers work at Riot, and what are their tasks

Fearless New PortraitAt Riot we don’t split up game designers much besides Designers and Tech Designers, with the main difference there just being the ability to check in code. In terms of things like systems design or mechanic design, these are competencies that each design has some ability to do, but will be stronger or weaker depending on who you talk to. At Obsidian, I moved between being a Cinematic Designer, a Combat Designer, a Systems Designer and even a Technical Designer for one project. Each company has their own ways of understanding their teams, and I think that’s smart for each company to set out who they want and how specialized they want them to be.

[ Link to Post ]


Follow Up Banner

Fearless New PortraitAnd for the last question, there is a place at almost every studio for designers that don’t have tech educations, definitely including Riot. I have a film background before I got into gaming, and I’ve worked with Designers with every sort of education, from Art, Philosophy, Architecture and Literature. I’ve also worked with plenty of incredibly talented designers who did not complete a degree. The most important thing for a game designer is that they are great at understanding and making fun games. Some people learn things that help them do this in school. Some people mod and some people figure this out along some very strange paths.

[ Link to Post ]



What was your journey to becoming a Systems Designer like

Fearless New PortraitWhen I think about the work that I did, really everything has been some form of system, apart from Sona. For example, even though I was the Cinematic Designer for Alpha Protocol, most of my work there was building out the game experience of the story. AP wanted the cinematic sequences to still very much be an interactive part of the game that gave players the space to express themselves, experiment, and feel like they could “win” the story by getting to be the character they wanted to be. A lot of the decisions we built into how players picked their dialogue options and how those payed off and showed progress all went back into making sure the cinematics could be that gameplay experience.

Basically, being a systems designer was simply a matter of taking on a big project, and then consistently thinking about the entire impact and interactions of the project. It also really helps if you’re comfortable working on the nuts and bolts level stuff, knowing that when you do your job well, players might not even notice a lot of what you’ve done. Great systems design is often like great film editing, in that many of the best examples are amazing because of the subtle things that they do that most people won’t (and shouldn’t need to) notice.

[ Link to Post ]



Whatre your thoughts on permanent modes like Dominion

Fearless New PortraitI’m really not an expert, or even particularly familiar with the other game modes. Before I started working at Riot, I was actually pretty into Dominion, and would play a few games every week, to test out champ match-ups and builds in the faster setting. Once I got to Riot and found myself on a team that is entirely focused around SR, I pretty much only play SR to make sure that I stay as current as possible and am testing and experimenting as much as possible in the space that lets me build awesome stuff for players.

Sorry I don’t have more deep thoughts to throw in here.

[ Link to Post ]


Follow Up Banner

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI’ll be completely honest: we have neglected them, especially Dominion and TT. We view the heart of League to be SR, and that’s where we spend most of our development effort. We aren’t happy with that answer however, and we have some ideas for how we can give Dominion and TT a little love. We’ll talk more about this soon. We are unlikely to add new permanent maps in the future. Often, they lack the depth of SR, which means they are popular at first and then slowly lose players over time. In some regions where we have fewer players, it can also cause long queue times by sub-dividing the bucket so much.

[ Link to Post ]



What RPGs have you worked on

Fearless New PortraitI worked on Neverwinter Nights II, Alpha Protocol, Dungeons Siege III, and South Park: The Stick of Truth, along with some projects that never quite saw the light of day.

[ Link to Post ]




Did you intentionally design the thin walls on SR that can be dashed over

Fearless New PortraitMap geometry is an element we generally keep fairly fixed, while letting champs determine how they want to interact with it, given that it’s going to very likely be stable. A lot of systems work is about making sure we have a solid rules base for champions to interact with and navigate, and the map is a very base layer set of “rules.”

[ Link to Post ]



Whatre some of the funniest bugs youve encountered while balancing

Fearless New PortraitI didn’t understand where the decimal point for move speed values were supposed to go, so I had a Sona that pretty much just blinked where you clicked for as long as her E was up. Caught before it got into a playtest, but very fun for a few minutes.

[ Link to Post ]




Are there any Mastery or Item ideas for Preseason that got scrapped

Fearless New PortraitThe marksman items had a lot of revisions, some of which had some extreme power, and of course some of these lined up with champ iterations that were very strong. Combine that with the fact that we have some high skill marksman specialists in the main playtest group I’m in, and we had a few playtests that felt like an alternate game mode where the goal was just to run as fast as you could away from the marksman. Not good for the game, but very entertaining to see the roles flipped so hard.

[ Link to Post ]



Is there anything already live that you feel is unappreciated unnoticed

Fearless New PortraitI think our bounty changes, coupled with the game pacing changes to towers and minions are very exciting, personally. I care a lot about making sure the game is still fun, even when you’re losing, and these changes make it much more clear what you should be doing when a team is down, and cut down on some of the worst game states to experience as a losing team.

[ Link to Post ]



INTRO Greg Riot Ghostcrawler Street Game Design Director

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWHO AM I?

My name is Greg Street, Riot Ghostcrawler. Before working at Riot, I was a lead designer on World of Warcraft for 6 years. Before that I was a lead designer on Age of Empires for 10 years. Before that, I was an oceanographer, which is where the crustacean avatar came from. I was an army brat who lived lots of places, but I identify most as a Texan.

My favorite game of all time is Dungeons and Dragons. I have played for 30 years, in all 5 editions. For video games, I’ll just list broad families of games that I love and that have influenced me: XCOM, Final Fantasy, World of Warcraft, Chrono Trigger, Diablo, Doom, Civilization, Legend of Zelda, Dark Souls, Baldur’s Gate, Planescape: Torment, Mass Effect, Metroid, Grand Theft Auto, and Okami. Outside of games, I enjoy travel, reading about history and science, and being outdoors. My last research project as a scientist involved collecting live, radioactive alligators. I have been attacked by animals as diverse as: Portuguese Man-o-war, Roseate Spoonbill, Southern Stingray, Rock Rattlesnake, Coatimundi. My favorite animal is the Mantis Shrimp.

I currently own: 4 dogs and 2 cats.


I joined Riot in 2013 and I am now the game design director for League. I describe my job as a combination of three things: I’m ultimately accountable for the design quality of League, I work with the other leads to determine long-term strategy and our big bets for the next year, and I manage the design department. I work a lot on projects such as our Season 2016 plan. I help answer things such as what kinds of champions should we be making, what do we want the pace of the game to be, and what new features does League need.


The best kinds of questions to hit me with are about our design philosophy or core design values. The kinds of questions I can best answer are “Would Riot ever consider this Big New Feature?” “Where do you see League in 5 years?” “How does Riot balance for such a wide range of skills?” “How much counterplay is acceptable?” “What were Riot’s goals with preseason?” “Is League too snowbally?” “Does Riot make too much change to the game?” “How many champions can League support?” I don’t directly balance champions or design new items. I’m fine if you blame me for bad balance, but if you want to know our thoughts on a particular change or the state of a champion, you’re better off asking the Rioters who are working directly on them.


If you know anything about me, you hopefully know that I strive to be really transparent with players and that I have very thick skin. AMA.

[ Link to Post ]



Is the complexity and tacked on passives on new Champions a good thing

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe feel overall that the ramp up in complexity on champs (the extra passives and double passives and so on) isn’t a great trend to stay on. It’s a challenge when you’re in the trenches, because you want players to get excited about each new champ that’s released, so we keep trying to outdo ourselves. If we released [next champ] with Vlad’s Q, I think we’d all be disappointed. But that’s the short term view, and in the long term view, we don’t want to end up at a point where champs have 4 passives and 20 abilities and so on.

[ Link to Post ]




How many champions can League support

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI think by around 300 we’d need some kind of seasonal roster or something. At the current rate we make champions, we won’t have to worry about that for some time. The game can handle a lot more than it has today IMO.

[ Link to Post ]




What do you think of Vladimir

Vladimir Single Banner

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe agree with just about everything you said. “What is the problem with Vlad’s Q?” used to be a question on our design test for potential new hires, but we removed it because it was too easy. Thematically, he’s fine. He needs better abilities. We’ll get there, potentially with the mage roster update this year.

[ Link to Post ]



Wasnt Mordekaiser changed for the sake of evolving the game

Mordekaiser Single Banner

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe strive for evolution, not change for the sake of change. That doesn’t mean we always nail it, and it’s an easy trap for developers to fall into, especially folks who haven’t been making games for very long (which is almost every Rioter). It’s a compass heading.

Morde was not change for the sake of change. Morde was not working as champion and we didn’t think it was possible to deliver on his current direction in a healthy way. He really needed a change the same way Poppy and Sion needed a change. Were there other changes we could have made that might have worked out better? That’s entirely possible. Was the community right and we should have listened to them? In 20/20 hindsight, that happens all the time. I’m trying to illustrate there is a difference between a bad change and change for the sake of change.

Change for the sake of change comes about when you see devs say things like this:

  • I’m bored. I think I’ll try something crazy.
  • I never envisioned this champ as X. I’m going to try Y because that fits my personal impression.
  • Z hasn’t gotten any changes for awhile. It’s his turn.
  • I don’t know what will work, so I’ll try this.

Change to add depth to the game come about when you see devs saying things like:

  • This pattern lacks counterplay so we need to add an opportunity for the enemy to do something.
  • We can’t increase this champion’s winrate without their pick rate skyrocketing and players seeing them every game. We are going to have to change some of their abilities.
  • This system is something solved that players don’t really think about anymore. We need to get interesting decisions back in.
  • Our values or goals are X, but this champion isn’t meeting those goals. We need to make changes to meet them.

In general, the changes we try to make are strategic, try to deliver on goals or values, try to open up options or decisions for players, and try to fix real problems.

[ Link to Post ]



How do you feel about the video game industrys development

Ghostcrawler New PortraitBig games are very expensive to make. This makes studios (and more importantly, their publishers who put their money up front) reluctant to take big risks. There have also been some spectacular failures of big games that were super high concept that just didn’t resonate with players and lost millions.

If you look at indie development, you will see a lot more risk-taking and even spot some of the next new trends. You’ll also spot some coming out of other regions, especially China. (I realize asking you to download a Chinese mobile game is a non-trivial ask.)

[ Link to Post ]



Do you agreedisagree with Zileas list of ten balance design antipatterns

Ghostcrawler New PortraitConflicted purpose. If you have an ability that is say both a shield and a heal, it can be an interesting decision about when to use the ability. You may need the shield now but you may need the heal even more a few seconds later. It is possible to screw this up, which was his point, but it’s possible to make it work out well as well.

He is my boss, by the way, so I’d love to tear down his arguments in a way that could publicly humiliate him, but I actually agree with his list for the most part.

[ Link to Post ]



What would you say are the biggest pros and cons of the PBE currently

Ghostcrawler New PortraitPros: Great for “feels” feedback. Good at catching bugs. Good as a point of reference for players to discuss on boards and Reddit.
Cons: NA only. Players don’t know how to participate. Bad for balance data (sample size is so small that matchmaking suffers, and players aren’t generally in tryhard mode anyway).

[ Link to Post ]



Do you think Hybrid champions will be supported in the future

Kayle Single Banner

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe are fine with hybrid champions or rule-breakers, but we need to establish that is our intent and not let it just sort of happen accidentally because the kit is overloaded. We didn’t really have a good framework for this before say 12 months ago when we started considering rosters.

[ Link to Post ]



What do you think should be done to make Sona a viable Support pick

Sona Single Banner

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe think her kit is fine. Not every champion needs to have a ton of mechanical complexity so long as they still have strategic complexity. For Sona, positioning (when to hug and when to not) are supposed to matter enormously.

[ Link to Post ]




If you were to redesign League would you still use the AD and AP stats

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI haven’t socialized this with the team, so they might disagree, but back in the day, League made the conscious choice not to go with the Strength, Agility, Intelligence model that Wacraft 3 originally used. The idea was that items were a bit more agnostic and any champion could use them. Was that the right call? I’m not sure. While there are still a lot of champ agnostic items, we also are jumping through hoops now to make sure e.g. Marksmen items are attractive to Marskmen but not necessarily to mages.

[ Link to Post ]



What are your thoughts on Preseason games being a lot more snowbally

Ghostcrawler New PortraitSo interestingly, our data suggests that games are no more snowbally than before the preseason changes or all of last year. We realize there is a common perception among players that it is more snowbally, so we are trying to unpack that and figure out why the discrepancy exists. Games are definitely shorter, but a shorter game that isn’t more of a shut out would actually be a pretty good place for the game to be.

[ Link to Post ]



Will you be aiming for strategic diversity in Season 6

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe also would like to see 10 different ADCs get played. Balance and strategic diversity play into that for sure. But it’s not the only factor. Players (of any game, not just League) really hate to be wrong, especially in front of strangers. That can lead to a situation where everyone wants to know “Who should I pick?” by which they mean “Which champ should I pick that is currently considered the best so that nobody will get mad or make fun of me?” In other words, the perception can sometimes drive the reality.

The perception that there is a best and second-best ADC can often cause players to choose those champs, even if their winrate would be better with a champ they’ve played a lot or really enjoy. Seeing what the pros pick can also have a huge trickle down effect on ranked queue champion choices. The difference between a “strong” and “weak” champion can often mean the difference between a 55% and 45% win rate. Think about that. That means you’d win approximately 10% more games if you picked the right champion. If you played 10 games, you might win 1 more because of your champion pick. Your individual experience with that champion can have a far bigger impact. Overall, League is a pretty well balanced game. That doesn’t mean we can’t do better, and we will strive to do so. But we’re not talking about champions who are twice as likely to win a game as another choice.

[ Link to Post ]



Why are you reworking Taric before Warwick Is it the gems

Taric Banner Single

Ghostcrawler New PortraitYeah, it’s pretty much just the gems.

Seriously though, a lot can go into the determination of which champion update we work on next, including whether we have potentially good ideas for how to fix the champion (thematically, visually and mechanically). We do have someone working on Warwick, because he desperately needs it, but it’s too soon to tell how or when that may pan out.

[ Link to Post ]



If Rioters hate ballofstats Champions why was Mundo given free stats

Mundo Single Banner

Ghostcrawler New PortraitGenerally speaking, we do two kinds of changes — things that have a chance of a long-term fix and things that are band-aids just to tide things over until we can get to a long-term fix. That said, Mundo is somewhat simple, but I don’t know that he needs a major update.

[ Link to Post ]



It seems that Yasuo is designed purely around free stats from his passive

Yasuo Single Banner

Ghostcrawler New PortraitYasuo’s winrate generally isn’t all that high because his skill cap is insanely high, one of the top 2-3 in the game. That is the challenge for why he is tricky to balance moreso than the double passive, IMO. We’d have to ask the champion designer who worked on him the origin of the double passive though.

[ Link to Post ]



How When will you fix Champions who rely on free stats to be viable

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIt’s less about free stats and more about whether a champion is nothing but a bag of stats. If your win rate is high because your stats are higher and not because you make good decisions, that’s the kind of thing we want to fix. We have fewer of those champions this year than we did last year.

[ Link to Post ]



How often do you play League and whats your favourite team role

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI tend to play in bursts like lots of players. I am playing fewer games now because I have been spending so much time on Fallout 4 and the Bloodborne DLC. Before I came to Riot, I’d say I played mostly Support (I played a priest in WoW) and ADC. I have tried to double down on improving my weaknesses rather than my strengths since I have been here. Jungle is by far my weakest role. I need to spend more time there.

[ Link to Post ]



What are your thoughts on the diversity of item recipes or lack thereof

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe want the early items to be a little safer because you aren’t locking yourself out of potential later items. You may not have enough information early in the game to know which items (or even in which order) you’ll want at the end. This means some amount of similarity among the builds themselves. There probably are some opportunities for those mid-tier items to branch out a little more.

[ Link to Post ]



Was it a conscious decision to move League toward mobility and flashy plays

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI think there is a tendency to want to design a champion that gets a lot of YouTube videos made because of flashy plays. Similarly, in a game with 130 champions, you can’t just offer a kit of skill shot + shield + steroid. I’ve said before that I think the concern that too many of our champs lately have been on the more complicated end is very fair and something we want to combat. You can have champions that make strategically interesting decisions (or even big plays) without them having double passives and lot of gigantic tooltips.

[ Link to Post ]



Do you see League lasting another 10 years If so how will it change

Ghostcrawler New PortraitEasily ten years. It’s not going anywhere. I think the biggest gains we have to make are outside of the core game loop. We can’t ever take our eye off that ball, but it’s pretty fun already and we don’t want to bury it under tons of complex systems. On the other hand, some of our systems outside of the game are pretty weak. For example we have focused a lot on fixing player behavior problems but not as much on helping you play with your friends.

[ Link to Post ]



Does Riot consider the Juggernaut reworks a success

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIt was a good proof of concept for the roster project. We’re happy with Garen and Darius, less so with Skarner and Morde. Overall, hitting 4 champs is probably not enough to feel like a roster was really updated. However, compared to Marksmen, Juggernauts barely even had a function in the game, so in that sense, we feel like it was successful.

[ Link to Post ]



Whats the reason for having 6 bans per game instead of 10

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe don’t want to be in a perpetual arm’s race. We have some fear that if we did 10 today it would be 12 next year and so on. There is some evidence that giving each player one ban in solo queue might be a better experience. We have some changes with the new team builder (with still just 6 bans) and we will see how that plays out first and then evaluate.

[ Link to Post ]



Has there been a region where Riot have found it impossible to support League

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThis is a great question but I don’t have a great answer. Maybe another Rioter who has been here longer will share a good story with me that I can then relate to you guys. Going into a new region is a fairly expensive commitment in that we have to localize a whole lot of text and VO and then either set up servers and matchmaking ourselves or find a regional partner who can do so. We have to be convinced that we can develop a sizable player base in a new region for it to be worth it. That is usually the biggest barrier to going into a new region. There are some interesting quirks though — we can’t play on Korean servers because Korea requires you to have the Korean equivalent of a social security number to play. (We were able to play when we visited Korean PC bangs though).

[ Link to Post ]



I think League could use more miniobjectivesminigames like Skarners crystals

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI agree we could have more, and we’ll probably add more over time, but not toooo many more. Imagine a game with 10 “Skarners” and 10 “Skarner crystals” all over the map.

[ Link to Post ]




Are Champion mains taken into consideration when that Champion is reworked

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe don’t make the changes just for those mains for a few reasons. Maybe they main that champion for reasons we don’t want to encourage. Maybe there are a bunch of potential mains out there who aren’t playing the champ but might with a good rework. Ideally we don’t alienate mains, and we do always target our survey questions towards both mains and non-mains.

[ Link to Post ]



Should there be more champions whose spells provide options to enemies

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIt’s a cool space but it increases the amount of information you need to play the game by a lot. Consider the Poppy rework — you have to know to step on her shield. Maybe you’ll stumble upon that at some point but maybe you won’t.

[ Link to Post ]




Is fun to play as or fun to play against a priority when making Champions

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe look at “play as” first. If nobody wants to play the champ, it doesn’t matter if they are fun to play against. We definitely look at how frustrating they are to play against once we really get into development.

[ Link to Post ]




How do you feel about additional gamemodes maps

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI’d love to see a more casual yet still competitive mode around some of those less-played maps.

[ Link to Post ]




Whats the best ways for individual players to impact Riots decisions

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIt depends on your target. If you’re looking to change our development culture or something, that’s pretty hard. If you want to give feedback on a champion change, there are a lot of ways to do that. Posting in the threads (often the PBE threads) where the developers are asking for feedback or discussing upcoming changes is a good way to focus your efforts. Just don’t assume that there is some kind of magical lever that you can pull to guarantee your suggestion will get incorporated. That’s just really hard to do when you have millions of players with their own suggestions. 🙁

[ Link to Post ]



Do you think every Champion should occupy a unique team role

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIt’s fine if they are in the same space but have different play styles. It’s probably not possible for us to come up with 130+ different strategies.

[ Link to Post ]




Why arent bad changes reverted more often eg Cassiopeias rework

Cassiopeia Single Banner

Ghostcrawler New PortraitI think I mentioned this earlier, or maybe it was Twitter or

I think it sucks when we do an update that is okay but not awesome. The reason is because it generally gets a champion into a healthier play space (so they are no longer at the top of the “on fire” list) but we haven’t made them awesome either (and because they are no longer at the top of the “on fire” list, they may not get touched for awhile).

We’d like to hit Cass again when we look at mages in 2016. I can’t promise because it’s impossible to predict how the projects will work out. I really wanted to update Volibear for the juggernaut update, but it just wasn’t coming together.

[ Link to Post ]



INTRO Mark RiotScruffy Yetter Lead Game Designer Champions

Scruffy Final PortraitWHO AM I?

Hey everyone,

I’m Mark, but you can call me RiotScruffy here. I’m a totally obsessed video gamer (in the best possible way), and games like DOTA, WoW, LoL, and pretty much anything with the Star Wars brand have occupied the best years of my life.

I’ve been a few places around the game industry before Riot, most notably I worked at Treyarch on Black Ops 2 right before I joined. They taught me some great stuff about how to make everything feel OP, and how to really sell a fantasy.

I currently own: 1 cats.


There’s kinda two sections here for me, the past and the future:

The past (and present): I’m the Lead Designer of the Champion Update team, which has worked on many of your favorites (and unfavorites I’m sure) like Sion, Poppy, Gangplank, Fiora, Juggernauts, Marksmen updates and many more. I have a TON of history with this team, having helped build it up from the ground when I started at Riot almost 3 years ago until now.

The future: I’m going to be moving over to be Lead Designer of the Champion team. A new set of challenges and a really talented new group of people there is really exciting. Building up the next generation of new champions and hopefully surprising you all with some great new innovations is my goal.


Champ-Up has grown and changed so so much over these past years, and I can talk about so many things. “Why did we start doing group updates like Juggernaut/Marksmen?” “How do we decide how much to preserve or redo on a champ-up like Poppy?”

Or even less specific stuff that is more related to our champion/game design philosophy like: “How have we evolved our strategy for making interactive gameplay without overusing skillshots?” “How do we build up a new champion from concept to completion?” “How did we go about categorizing our champions into archetypes so that we could better understand them (see juggernauts)?”

I’d also like to bridge the gap – when I can – of how our general game design practice can carry over into good character mechanic design and vice versa. It might be cool to do some topics that explore how to apply our champ design principle to other systems or even games altogether.


Anything about Champ design or Champion updates is definitely on the table for me. Get creative, I’m open to whatever cool topics you all would like to talk about.

[ Link to Post ]



What would you say are the top 5 Champions that need to be changed

Yorick Single Banner

  1. Scruffy Final PortraitYorick – Both super unhealthy for the game and incredibly unsatisfying/lame
  2. Taric – So much promise with so little delivery. He has a ton of upside in making him more interesting, cohesive and higher quality
  3. Urgot – incredibly unclear fantasy and unhealthy gameplay
  4. Talon/Akali/diana – the trio of assassins with the potential to be great, but lacking so much in gameplay depth and interaction that if they ever are strong its the most frustrating experience
  5. Xin Zhao/Aatrox/Pantheon/Irelia – The grouping of fighter types with overly one directional gameplay patterns. This results in a “stat check” where they press their buttons in the right order and the rest is up to numbers not skill. (fiora used to be in this camp)

[ Link to Post ]



Will there ever be more nonlinear skillshots like Dianas Q

Scruffy Final PortraitI don’t see why not. It’s a cool way to create new feel and gameplay – see Vel’koz geometry Q

[ Link to Post ]




Could you give us a few spoilers about Tarics rework

Taric Banner Single

Scruffy Final PortraitWe want to solidify his role as a tanky protector type support with armor affinity. The gameplay is pretty nearly 100% and we are working hard on the new visuals. There are some really great surprises in his new kit/visuals but I will not spoil those.

[ Link to Post ]




Do you have any thoughts on Ao Shin

Ao Shin Single Banner

Scruffy Final PortraitNo comment on Ao Shin sorry, this was just a way premature reveal and there are a lot things in the pipe on the new champion team right now.

[ Link to Post ]




For Season 6 are you focusing on making new Champions or reworking older ones

Scruffy Final PortraitA lot of the work I’ve started on the Update team will be finishing in 2016, so I will still have a loose hand in it, but my main focus will be running and creating awesome improvements and innovations for our new champion team.

[ Link to Post ]




Is there any fantasy or gameplay niche you feel is missing from League

Scruffy Final PortraitI think there are a bunch of new fantasies that I’d be excited to explore. I’m especially interested in pushing for really really innovative ideas that will completely break the mold of what we currently consider champs can be.

My pet project – The “branching future character:” A good warrior comes in contact with a corrupted weapon, his/her choices throughout the game will either keep them pure or cause the corruption to take over. By the end of the game you have transformed into one of multiple possible kits.

[ Link to Post ]



What are your plans for Mordekaiser

Mordekaiser Single Banner

Scruffy Final PortraitThis is a good question. Statikk and Feralpony have been posting about morde and he is in their team’s hands. They will be the better people to have the long term discussion with.

My personal opinions:
-Solo morde needs love, he may not be the “main” role but he has a lot of room to become more playable
-W in solo has had some improvements, but is still a pretty lackluster ability without an ally, this could be a good area for us to look into again

[ Link to Post ]



Why did you redesign Mordes W to only be usable with allies

Scruffy Final PortraitI think the original thinking was that morde was oriented towards a solo lane so clearly before, that it would take a lot to make him even remotely viable in the duo lane. In retrospect we clearly overestimated how much we would have needed to do there.

[ Link to Post ]



How much influence does the original Champion designer have on a rework

Scruffy Final PortraitWhenever possible we get the original champ designer to consult heavily on the rework project, but it’s usually a good idea to get someone fresh to actually own the project. (attachment too strong can be a problem)

[ Link to Post ]




Do you think theres a future for pointandclick spells

Annie Single Banner

Scruffy Final PortraitI think that point and click spells have a bright and consistent future in LoL, they provide a clear, satisfying, and reliable output. The key is making sure that the champ kit outside of the point and click offers enough places for interaction and counterplay. Take GP Q for example, which we kept point and click because the new E is so interactive.

[ Link to Post ]


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


Red Posts 01 11 Banner

[ Note ] You can find all the PBE changes discussed below HERE.


Topics Banner


Here are the most recent news in each category:

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

Current Sale Thumbnail Current Rotation Thumbnail



Can you give us some context on Vaynes preseason Silver Bolts change

Vayne Banner

[ Note ] On the PBE, Vayne’s [ W ] currently has no base damage, but the % damage is increased to 6/7.5/9/10.5/12%.


Meddler Final PortraitVayne’s current damage against a 1000 HP target:

  • Rank 1 Silver Bolts – 60 (20 flat + 40 as 4% of 1000)
  • Rank 5 Silver Bolts – 140 (60 flat + 80 as 8% of 1000)


Vayne’s damage after the 5.22 change:

  • Rank 1 Silver Bolts – 60 (6% of 1000)
  • Rank 5 Silver Bolts – 120 (12% of 1000, also the minimum value for rank 5 Silver Bolts)

So, against a 1000 health target these changes are a slight nerf to the rank up value of Silver Bolts. At 2000 health rank 1 damage goes from 100 to 120, rank 5 damage goes from 220 to 240, so in both cases slight buffs. At present however Vayne’s also got a reduction of 1 AD per level, so at level 9 (assuming she maxed W first for sake of discussion) she’ll have missed out on 27 physical damage from those three attacks. Any attacks that don’t contribute to a Silver Bolts proc will also be weaker of course too, without the benefit of the extra Silver Bolts damage against a target that’s itemized at least some health.

Finally, to look at a later game scenario, let’s look at a level 15 Vayne with rank 5 W against a target with 3000 health. Previously she’d have dealt 300 damage per Silver Bolts Proc. With these changes she’d deal 360, though with at least 45 less physical damage as a partial offset.

TLDR: This change is neutral or a nerf against low health targets and a small buff, though one partially offset by lower AD/level, against health stacking targets.



That seems like a lot of work for whats essentially the same Vayne

Meddler Final PortraitYeah it’s a fairly small balance adjustment basically, aimed at focusing Vayne more on killing health stackers while weakening her damage against squishies.

[ Link to Post ]




Was the Graves range nerf intended to force him off the bot lane

Graves Single Banner

[ Note ] On the PBE, Graves’ auto-attack range has been decreased from 525 to 425.

Scruffy Final PortraitWe still intended him for bot lane, though if he has alternate styles in top or jungle it’s not a bad outcome.

[ Link to Post ]




With the Rift Herald added do you think duo lanes will move to mid lane Rift Herald Mini Banner

Scruffy Final PortraitI doubt they would a majority of the time because a lot of mages need that short lane to be safe in the early levels.

That said, I think it opens the possibility to switch up a strat and go for a duo mid, which could be a really exciting and viable move.

[ Link to Post ]



How powerful is the Rift Herald stat wise

Riot Jag Final PortraitRH is pretty durable, but getting the Eye Backstab proc off is a huge amount of damage, so taking it solo is considerably harder than duoing. It should be questionable in terms of trading for Dragon, depending on your team comp and win style (if you’re an early game push team then RH will obviously be better). More details on the reward here:

I don’t think the top laner solo jungle start will work anymore since camps only give you level 2 if you have a jungle item. That’ll push Ignite/Exhaust viability up a lot, along with the TP CD nerfs we have in.

[ Link to Post ]



How is Rapid Firecannon going to work on melee Champions

[ Note ] Rapid Firecannon is a new AD item that passively builds stacks like Statikk Shiv and extends auto-attack range when it’s charged.

Reinboom Final PortraitIt’s a 35% increase that’s capped so it works pretty smoothly for most melee champions.

[ Link to Post ]




How does the Energized stacking mechanic on Firecannon work

Reinboom Final PortraitIt’s Shiv fast, but slightly slower than what shiv is now.

It’s a single shot.

[ Link to Post ]




Can you give us some context on the changes to Trinity Force

[ Note ] Due to the Preseason changes to Zeal & Sheen, Trinity Force now grants CDR instead of AP and most of its stats are lowered in favor of higher Crit Chance.

Riot Axes New PortraitWe’re standardizing item efficiencies across the board, and Trinity Force was one of a number of outliers – much too high.

For the crit specifically, the more closely your crit chance approaches 50%, the fewer attacks it takes for crits to average out (this is helped along considerably by some under-the-hood magic we do – crit isn’t quite true RNG). Basically, increasing the crit chance to 20% actually makes combat less RNG-driven for fighters. We’re aiming to have at least 20% crit on anything bigger than a Brawler’s Glove that has crit on it in the first place.

As for specific champions being impacted – most champions in the game are going to be impacted by at least some of these changes (even if they’re not strongly impacted by items, Keystone Masteries and general game tuning will have large effects on champion power levels). We will certainly be following up on champion balance as preseason progresses.

[ Link to Post ]



Why didnt you replace Zeal in the recipe with Recurve Bow for onhit damage

Riot Axes New PortraitWe explored this – it felt really bad. Few Trinity Force users expect to be able to basic attack repeatedly enough to use that much AS + an on hit effectively, and it costs you the % movement speed (or requires us to drive the price up).

Zeal went back into it because that version felt so bad to play.



Certain melee Champions really benefitted from the AP on Trinity Force

Sotere New Portrait

Historically most of the melee fighter champions didn’t want AP. Jax and Irelia didn’t feel TERRIBLE about it. Trinity Force was their go-to item because it was SUPER efficient despite stats that weren’t ideal (AP and Crit, which were also incredibly anti-synergistic with each other). Over time certain champions were balanced around that super efficient Trinity Force (Corki, Irelia, Jax, Hecarim). In tuning the efficiency down and shifting the stats, we might reveal that said champions need changes. We’re keeping a close eye on them in case we have to adjust.

[ Link to Post ]



Where is Riots stance on having a jungler build Sighstone as a core item

Fearless New PortraitWe gave junglers the Tracker’s Knife jungle item (essentially a jungler’s sightstone) because we believe that allowing them to easily opt into the vision game should be easier and a more recognized option for junglers.

[ Link to Post ]



Why did you remove Green Wards from the store

Fearless New PortraitThe vision changes are about making the vision portion of the game more of an effort for the entire team, and a more learnable game for all. Green wards as a stand alone purchase ensured that many players never fully engaged in the game. By putting many of the baseline vision tools in the hands of every player, in every game, and then augmenting the ways the game tells players about how the vision game is being played around them, players have much more access to understanding a vital part of the game.

[ Link to Post ]



Is it true that Trinkets will have two charges in the early game

Sotere New PortraitStarting trinkets will have multiple charges. It feels pretty good for coverage in lane, especially bottom where you get both people to draw from.

[ Link to Post ]



What will the removal of Mana Pots do to manahungry AP support

Fearless New PortraitWe’ve increased the mana regen on Frostqueen’s Claim, and we are actively tuning around the support mana usage. We’ll be watching these champs and some of the mana starved junglers to make sure they changes we’ve made for them are doing enough to keep them reasonable. Maybe not 3 mana pot start full, but able to cast their spells and have a strong impact.

[ Link to Post ]



Won’t the gold increase to Health Pots make sustain junglers better picks

Keeper Arcanus Final PortraitHealth Pots are 50g now, but remember the entire flow of gold has been changed. The price increase isn’t as disruptive as you’d think.

[ Link to Post ]



Sotere New PortraitDefinitely something for us to watch. There’s a LOT of systems in play, however. Our playtests haven’t shown sustain champions really thriving due to there being a lot of other sources of health regen and new flasks to keep people topped off.

[ Link to Post ]



How long will the Preseason changes be on the PBE before theyre patched on live

Sotere New PortraitPreseason will only be on PBE for one cycle. The content will be shipping with 5.22 on a normal patch cadence. Of course, we have a lot of follow-up planned once we see how the changes impact Live.

We’re trying to shoehorn supports into one mastery tree less. In fact, there’s no ‘Utility’ Tree anymore. It’s got a new name, and generally new purpose. While supports may still go down it for some of the tried and true gold generation masteries like Bandit, we expect them to explore other trees as well. 0/9/21 shouldn’t be the path that all supports need go down (as some could argue it is on Live).

Supports are generally going to be compensated through base mana buffs, itemization, and they also should be getting a bit more gold at the end of the day due to how ambient gold is going to scale (specifically towards the support team members).

[ Link to Post ]


Happy Halloween to all readers! Here’s a Halloween-themed fan art collection with Battle Bunny Riven for good measure:


Happy Halloween! by ikebanakatsu:



Happy Halloween! Trick or Treat by Sanphy:

53232569_p0_master1200 53232569_p1_master1200 53232569_p2_master1200 53232569_p3_master1200 53232569_p4_master1200


Gankbuster Vi by suqling:



Halloween Sona by MonoriRogue:



Battle Bunny Riven by Unsomnus:



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


Red Posts 18 08 Banner


Topics Banner


Recent News Banner






Update on NA Game Servers

Riot Noc New PortraitOn August 25, the NA game servers are moving to Chicago, IL. We anticipate zero downtime. However, ranked will be disabled from approximately 5:00am PDT to 12:00pm PDT (noon). The migration will take several hours and, until it’s complete some games will still be played on the old servers, so you may not immediately see a change in your ping. You may also bounce between Chicago and the old servers from game to game until the migration is complete. Read more about the server move here:

[ Link to Post ]



[ Taylor Meabon ] What’s your position on have 5 bans, maybe even 1 for each player? Its kind of frustrating to have none of your own input when 1 of 5 random people gets to ban 3. Also I think the champion pool is big enough to justify more bans?‎  

Ghostcrawler New PortraitTimely question. We have had a few meetings on this topic lately. Would be interested in community feedback right now on what problems you think the existing system has and your opinions about the right way to fix.

(Also specify if you’re talking about pro play or non-pro ranked play. We don’t strictly have to use the same system for both.)

[ Link to Post ]


Additional resources:




Here are the changes to Thornmail that will hit live with Patch 5.16:


Nerf BoxThornmail Final Icon Thornmail

  • Price increased from 2100 Gold to 2300
  • UNIQUE Passive now reflects 15% of damage + 25% of the user’s bonus Armor, changed from 30% of damage



Can Thornmails passive trigger off all sources of physical damage

Repertoir New PortraitIf Thornmail comes out next patch and is too weak, it seems like the better approach to take would be to make it better at what it’s supposed to be good at rather than just making it good against all physical damage. It doesn’t really seem right that we should just make it really good against all physical damage. If we need an item that allows tanks and other frontliners to properly deal with Riven, we should make that item, rather than trying to balance an item with a largely different ideal case around also being able to do that.

[ Link to Post ]


What if Thornmail applied Grievous Wounds to enemies hitting the player

Repertoir New PortraitWe had something very close to this on Thornmail for awhile internally, but I believe it resulted in a question of what options auto attackers even have then if Thornmail not only damages them significantly, but also halves their Lifesteal.

[ Link to Post ]



What if Ruby Sighstone granted 20 CDR on item actives

Repertoir New PortraitWhat’s the intended outcome of this change? That Ruby Sightstone becomes generally more desirable to upgrade to? Or is it more that Ruby Sightstone feels better to upgrade to for a support when they manage to go full build?

[ Link to Post ]

It doesnt feel good to upgrade Sighstone lategame even if its gold efficient

Repertoir New PortraitCool. Thanks for the interesting thread, Saixos. Sounds like people are maybe wanting more of an interesting transformative element when upgrading Sightstone. From what I’ve read, players seem okay with upgrading it late in the game, but even then, it’s mostly just because you can, and not that it feels good to do so.

[ Link to Post ]






Immobile mages should be updated in the same style as Juggernauts

Scruffy Final PortraitImmobile mages definitely need the same treatment as what we’re doing for the juggernauts. Not because “buffs” (those can happen at any time), but because they really need true uniqueness from champ to champ.

If you asked the question “I’m a champ that brings a bunch of aoe spell damage and some CC, who am I?” you could answer Velkoz, Zyra, Syndra, Brand, Cass, Malzahar, and ziggs. Ideally we could find what makes these champs unique and sharpen it enough so that the reason you would bring those champs to your team isn’t just whoever has the highest numbers.

As for the buffs that you’re asking for, I’ll have to run it by the live balance team and they can better speak to if any of them are in an underpowered state.

[ Link to Post ]

Will Swain also be part of this update

Scruffy Final PortraitHe might need a bit more than some uniqueness sharpening.

[ Link to Post ]




Why is the balance team not considering nerfs for Vayne

[ Note ] There’s been some recent community feedback on Vayne’s early game being too strong. The posts from Repertoir are a continuation of those threads.

Repertoir New PortraitWhere did we say this? Just talking around the office, that’s really not the impression I get. If you had said, “The fact that Vayne isn’t getting nerfed in 5.16 is sad really,” then that’s more reasonable. I can assure that in the last few days I’ve had several conversations about Vayne that weren’t just on the boards.

Is she getting changes in 5.16? No. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean we aren’t aware of the community sentiment on the subject.

[ Link to Post ]


Meddler stated a month ago that Vayne is in a fine spot balance wise

[ Note ] You can find Meddler’s comment HERE.

Repertoir New PortraitOr at least she was about a month ago, but a lot can change in a month. I suppose I should just ask him in person!

[ Link to Post ]



Do you think Ryze is in a good state currently

Scruffy Final PortraitOne of the big issues that Ryze has currently that makes him feel weak is that for the “100 games played, master tier ryze player” he is actually very very strong, but for the average/majority of players that isn’t the case.

We’re slowly working on some changes that will hopefully shorten the gap in success between an insanely top tier ryze player and everyone else. Probably still a few patches out though.

[ Link to Post ]


Whatre your thoughts on LeBlancs current state

Repertoir New PortraitShe may have been overnerfed, and I believe there are W speed adjustments in on 5.16 PBE at the moment.

That said, she historically falls into that Azir, Ryze, Kassadin, etc. category of champions that is balanced for higher levels of play when their solo queue win rate is in the ~45% range. This isn’t to say that any of these champions must be weak; it’s more that their performance dramatically increases with skill level and/or player experience, to the point that if they were balanced around a 50% win rate for all players, they would be 56/57%+ for experienced/skilled players. Most recently, we saw this on Ryze, whose experienced win rate jumped up above 60% by some measure despite being ~50% in solo queue at average elos.

[ Link to Post ]

Are you planning on reworking LeBlanc

Repertoir New PortraitThere’s currently no rework planned that I know of.

[ Link to Post ]

Zyra is a poke support who needs gold to function and sees zero pro play

Repertoir New PortraitWe actually generally agree with this assessment, and I believe we’re currently looking into what we may be able to do to help Zyra out. I’m not sure if it’s going to come right away, and it’s not likely to be a large scale change, but she should get some attention nonetheless.

[ Link to Post ]

How do you feel about Sions current state

Scruffy Final PortraitPersonal opinions INC but here’s my 2c:

  • Numerically he seems balanced, reasonable win rates on our data and all of the external sites like OP.GG etc
  • As most sion players (myself included) prefer top sion over jungle, there may be room for a slight power shift towards top sion rather than jungle
  • The W 2->3s delay nerf was warranted in terms of power, but the feels hit was probably not ideal. Maybe there’s a power neutral change that we can do to shorten that delay some without buffing him

[ Link to Post ]

Follow Up Banner

Does this mean Sion players will be forced to lane top instead of jungling

Scruffy Final PortraitNot at all what I mean. Sion jungle is stronger than Sion top statistically, so I was just saying there may be room for top love. I DEFINITELY wouldn’t want that at the cost of his jungle viability.

[ Link to Post ]

Why was Lee Sins rework scrapped due to player feedback but Mordes isnt

Scruffy Final PortraitI wasn’t personally involved with the lee sin changes back then (not a ‘rework’ really just some live design tweaking), but I can give you my opinion for what it’s worth.

I actually think the community outcry then was totally legitimate and called us out on what would have been changes that would have pushed out some of the core late game functions that lee sin players actually liked and aren’t unhealthy for the game. For context the changes would have made lee sin more of an attack speed dmg carry late game rather than a pick focused tank like he his now. This is the type of feedback/response that I am glad that we are doing.

There have been a few other threads with some more in depth Morde discussion, but I can repeat/bring the discussion here. We have heard the feedback on morde and are both reacting to some of it before release and planning for possible future changes if things don’t turn out exactly as we hope when he goes live. The big asks I’ve been seeing for morde are about his solo lane viability, and we are aiming to not hurt his play there while also adding a very new and interesting option for him to play bot lane. Once morde goes live, we will be listening to the feedback from top, mid, and bot lane morde players and reacting with whatever changes are appropriate.

Some of the other comments you have about us “picking sides” or “changing the whole game around lee sin” must be a deeper level of conspiracy than what we even know ourselves. The strategy the balance/systems team has been taking on creating/improving jungle diversity isn’t centered around lee sin but rather the champion pool as a whole. Things like Cinderhulk and Devourer are general changes to support other jungle characters that don’t really have anything to do with lee sin’s balance.

[ Link to Post ]

Follow Up Banner

Why werent the changes to Cassiopeia Veigar Zilean reverted then

Scruffy Final PortraitI saw a good comment earlier in this thread about how the important thing isn’t about being right 100% of the time. Instead it’s about having a consistent mindset/approach.

So admittedly some reworks and balance changes don’t turn out as good as others. That doesn’t mean that we are or should be taking a different approach or use different values for each individual champion. The changes made to the three champions you listed were consistent with the same design values that we apply to all champs in league.

That said, I know we’re not satisfied if cass, veigar, zil players aren’t so I’m sure that we will continue to iterate on those champs and keep improving them in the future.

[ Link to Post ]

introheader_3 (1)

Riot have released an official tech blog where they’ll share more under-the-hood aspects of updating League:

Hello, world! What a long, strange trip it’s been. Some things have held constant since the beginning of Riot engineering: we still hold the player experience above all else, we still focus on constantly improving ourselves and our technology, and we still love to play games. But other things have dramatically changed for our team: we no longer fit in 500 square-feet, we now serve players all over the world, and supporting 1,000 concurrent players is no longer our biggest challenge. At the beginning of this journey, we couldn’t have imagined the challenges that’d arise from the scale we face today, and that influence everything from the technology we create to how we shape a player-focused engineering team.

I’m excited to introduce Riot’s new tech blog where we’ll discuss engineering topics along the breadth of these challenges. League of Legends players have given us the awesome opportunity to tackle these problems, and we’ve learned a ton that we’d like to discuss. Our goal is to share with you, the engineering community, our journey developing technology while we learn from your questions and comments.

What you won’t find here is a discussion of technology for technology’s sake. Rather, what’s important is how and why we wield technology to ship value to players. In fact, Riot isn’t a technology company, which might sound odd in the context of announcing a tech blog: Riot’s a product company. We believe the only path to success is a focus on players, which means a focus on products.

A focus on products is why we’re not only building League of Legends, but also new games, esports experiences, a merchandise store, creative ventures, big data pipelines, and more. Our engineers create the technology for those products to succeed in delighting players. As players ourselves, we know the joy of truly great game experiences, and we’re dedicated to creating new ones.

We plan to discuss facets of our engineering challenges that we hope will resonate with the community. To release content at will, our teams must move quickly and own their work end-to-end; to support that need we’re developing private cloud infrastructure and working to evolve our continuous delivery platform. With our desire to make data-informed decisions, we’ve invested in our Insights Tech team and their work building out our global data pipeline to analyze petabytes of game data. In our quest to continually improve the LoL player experience, we’ve implemented machine-learning algorithms to better understand how players interact with our game, both positively and negatively. To maintain the highest level of availability of Riot’s game and web properties, we’ve placed them atop tech stacks comprised of both our own work and invaluable open-source technologies we couldn’t live without. And, in the constant battle to stay ahead of malicious attacks, we’re supporting our security team and their efforts running a bug bounty program, developing security tools, reviewing Riot code, and educating Riot engineers on cutting-edge trends and best practices.

Riot engineers from teams around the world look forward to sharing stories related to the topics mentioned here, among many others. This blog is our chance to engage with you and we want to focus on quality content and the dialogue that follows.

[ Link to Post ]



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


Red Posts 22 07 Banner


Topics Banner


Recent News Banner






Game designers Scruffy, Stashu and Meddler explain the reasons for giving Fiora a % HP true damage passive and a teamwide heal for winning duels.


Extra Resources


Why does Fiora’s ult deal of Max HP true damage

Scruffy Final PortraitThis is actually something that we found was necessary for her to be able to compete with the tanky fighters in the top lane or team fights.

Being a squishy melee carry that cant just blow up the enemy adc like Zed or other assassins is tough. Letting her skirt around the edges of the fight and deal hit and run damage to the enemy fighters/tanks is an essential part of her viability.

[ Link to Post ]


Follow Up Banner

Stashu Final PortraitWe believe that though %HP true damage can cause frustration, there is a time and place for that mechanic, and there are two primary reasons why we decided to go with it in this case:

First, we want Fiora to win and loses fights by skill, not stats. Accordingly, no one can mitigate her passive damage, but anyone can avoid it entirely through skillful play. When Fiora loses, it’s because her opponent outplayed her through clever footwork and proper use of their CC’s or re-positioning abilities.

Second, the Grand Duelist takes on all opponents, and %HP true damage allows her to threaten bulkier ones without having an unfair advantage against the more fragile. If it dealt %HP physical damage instead, the number would have to be much larger to scratch through a tank’s armor, and that same number would mean instant death to unarmored opponents.

Though it may seem like the opposite, the mechanic actually protects many targets from the more dangerous alternatives — and though there are no macro countermeasures (like building armor), there is theoretically rich micro counterplay (don’t let her hit it). So while this still may cause some frustration, I hope this at least explains why it’s on the kit!

[ Link to Post ]



What if youre playing a Champion without mobility like Garen

Scruffy Final PortraitYeah, it’s not equally rich across all champions. Fortunately, champions without high mobility spells or immobilizing cc’s often have the damage to beat Fiora if she tries to straight up fight them, Garen included. If Fiora is spending time moving between Vitals while fighting Garen in melee range, I expect that his basic combo should be sufficiently punishing to her.

This is not a catch-all answer, but most champions have some action they can take against Fiora, whether through dodging, stunning, or dumping damage when she exposes herself to risk. She will have particularly favorable matchups against certain champions, but that’s a part of champion-to-champion interaction in League. Of course, it becomes a problem when Fiora has VERY binary matchups, and to your point, this is something we’ll be on the lookout for.

[ Link to Post ]


Follow Up Banner

Stashu Final PortraitBasically: When Garen recognizes that Fiora is going to come in for an open Vital, he can ready his Q/E to punish her.

Fiora’s Q range and passive haste might be strong enough such that they invalidate this play, but that’s not the intention, and we can tune these things down to compensate.

[ Link to Post ]



Do the weak spots rotate with the Champion or do they remain static

Scruffy Final PortraitThe passive stays locked in the direction no matter what. If the enemy turns or changes facing, it won’t affect the passive.

[ Link to Post ]




The heal on Fioras ultimate makes no sense thematically

Stashu Final PortraitHey there! I just entered a similar discussion in another thread, so I’m going to paste it here.

Original [Durzaka’s] comment:


“Someone on Reddit actually explained it in a way that made some sense to me.

It is the idea of applause/victory reward at the end of a duel that you have won.”

And my thoughts on the matter:

“Yeah, this is the thematic tie-in that we were going for. Fiora’s duel, or ‘Grand Challenge,’ is a game defining moment for everyone, not just the combatants. Fiora’s team should care about whether or not she’s successful and be able to join in the celebration if she is.

Gameplay wise, adding reasons for Fiora’s team to care about her in important. Selfish champions can lead to degenerate teamplay experiences, whether they are winning or losing. Accordingly, by adding some team utility to her personal challenges, we can make Fiora a strong 1-on-1 duelist while keeping her team invested in her success. Heal might feel weird here, and I totally get that, but it was the most fitting tool in our box.”

[ Link to Post ]



Its the idea of applause victory reward at the end of a duel youve won

Stashu Final PortraitYeah, this is the thematic tie-in that we were going for. Fiora’s duel, or ‘Grand Challenge,’ is a game defining moment for everyone, not just the combatants. Fiora’s team should care about whether or not she’s successful and be able to join in the celebration if she is.

Gameplay wise, adding reasons for Fiora’s team to care about her in important. Selfish champions can lead to degenerate teamplay experiences, whether they are winning or losing. Accordingly, by adding some team utility to her personal challenges, we can make Fiora a strong 1-on-1 duelist while keeping her team invested in her success. Heal might feel weird here, and I totally get that, but it was the most fitting tool in our box.

[ Link to Post ]



Wont players just use the ult for the quick execute and teamwide heal

Scruffy Final PortraitThis is something that we worried about at first too, but there is a tradeoff. If you use R only for the heal you are missing out on a ton of damage from the 4 free procs. Burning an ult cooldown for an easier heal and no damage seems like it won’t become the primary use case.

[ Link to Post ]



Why does Fiora get an AoE heal for hitting all the enemys Vitals

Scruffy Final PortraitIt actually fits quite well with the rest of the ult, I’ll explain. In testing we tried a BUNCH of different reward types (damage buffs, speed, cooldowns etc) for her winning the duel, and we found that there were a few reasons why this one stuck as the most useful and fitting.

-By the time she gets to that hard earned 4th proc, she is usually desperately in need of some heals (being a squishy melee carry)
-The “fight reset” elements of it give her this great “one down, who’s next?” feeling
-Too much immediate reward makes her into a snowball champ like katarina, so the reward is given over time instead of burst
-The team benefits from it so that when fiora calls out her challenge, everyone cares about her success. They might help by CCing the target or keeping her alive so she can win

I hope that helps explain some of the reasoning for how we ended up with this current victory reward. Play it and see if it feels right to you too.

[ Link to Post ]



Do the 4 weak spots from Fioras ultimate rotate with her target

Meddler Final PortraitThey’re not based off the facing of the target (e.g. if a Vital point spawns and it’s pointing towards the top of the screen then it’ll continue to point towards the top of the screen regardless of where/how the champion it’s attached to moves).

[ Link to Post ]



I feel the short reaction time on Fioras new W will make playing her a chore

Stashu Final PortraitI definitely share this worry, to some degree. [I believe] we tuned the block duration to be long enough so that Fiora doesn’t always need to twitch-block, but can often use the ability in advance, predicting her opponent’s move. We really wanted to create some cerebral play as well as some mechanical play.

In fact, in many cases cerebral play is required. For example, when Warwick is coming to gank Fiora, Fiora can’t re-actively block his R, but she can try to mind game him by casting the block right before she expects him to ult. It gets even deeper in other scenarios, such as when Jax is using his E — the Jax needs to guess when Fiora’s going to block, and Fiora needs to predict when Jax is going to stun.

Lastly, many champion’s key CCs have telegraphs, which should curb this ‘super-twitch-reactive’ element. Blocking Cho Gath’s Q for example, is much less stressful than blocking Irelia’s E. The hope is that these various uses will allow most Fiora players to succeed with ‘Riposte’ even without incredible reflexes. We’ll see how that pans out!

[ Link to Post ]


AD Item Diversity Banner

Following the recent AP item revamp in Patch 5.14, the balance team might apply the formula to AD items.


Why did you overhaul AP items and not AD items

Meddler Final PortraitAP items being in a better spot already was actually one of the key reasons we chose to work on them first. One of the things we wanted to do with the first set of items we overhauled like this was to try and prove some theories we could then apply to future item work. Starting with a set of items that were in a better spot and where we had a better understanding of what did and didn’t work was valuable as a result. If these AP changes pan out as hoped (we’re still mid assessment at the moment) we’ll then look at what we can do with the other categories of itemization.

[ Link to Post ]



Are there any changes planned for Essence Reaver

Meddler Final PortraitWhen we get to AD items we’ll definitely do some work on Essence Reaver (adjust it to make it a better choice or replace it with something more useful, not sure which yet).

[ Link to Post ]





Shen’s update will likely be on the scope of Gangplank’s rework.


Extra Resources



Whats the scope of Shens rework

Meddler Final PortraitIn terms of gameplay changes, probably around Gangplank level (substantial modifications to about half his kit, some skills very similar however).

In terms of visual changes, still figuring that out. Some visual effects changes to support spells certainly, and potentially a model update, won’t be a full overhaul on the level of Gangplank or Tristana though.

[ Link to Post ]



Will you be making changes to his splash art or ultimate

Meddler Final PortraitOdds are very high Stand United will remain his ult (might make some minor adjustments, but no fundamental changes).

As far as the splash goes I’m no splash artist, but I’d expect the biggest thing driving whether or not we opt for a new splash will be what sort of changes we do or don’t make to his model. We’ve been talking recently about whether we should make Shen look a bit tankier, so his gameplay and theme/appearance line up a bit better. If we decided to do that and made noticeable model changes we might then go for new splash art to match. Discussion’s still really early on what those possible changes might look like, could be small (bit of extra armor in the form of forearm guards or something similar) to much larger (more substantial amounts of armor while still matching his theme, significant adjustments to his physical build etc).

[ Link to Post ]



Cassiopeia’s rework failed to capture the poison mage theme the team was going with and has been temporarily delayed.


Why is Stashu working on Fiora before finishing his Cassiopeia rework

Meddler Final PortraitStashu’s not working on Cassiopeia at present. If we do make adjustments to Cass in the short to medium term they’re much more likely to be done by the Live Balance team than the Champion Update team (so would mainly involve power shifts, rather than significant changes to how her skills function).

That’s the case because a number of months ago we took a look at the current state of Cass and concluded that it was more important to have the Champion Update team focus on other characters. That’s not to say we think she’s in a perfect spot. In particular, we realize there’s some very valid frustration that she doesn’t deliver as well as she could on the thematic expectations a number of her players have (poison mage). We do think there are other champions that need work done on them more however, so are focused on those at present, with Fiora being the most recent example. I realize that’s likely pretty frustrating to hear if you’re a Cass player that doesn’t like her new kit, and my apologies for that.

In terms of making that priority call that was a decision Stashu contributed some thoughts to, but didn’t make himself. Riot does have a culture that supports individual developers pitching work they think’s valuable/arguing for what they believe in, but it’s not a ‘work on whatever you want regardless of team priorities’ culture. Stashu’s stance was that he was eager to do Cass followup work or take on Fiora, whichever we thought was more valuable. The conclusion Champion Update and Game Design leadership came to was that Fiora was the better call in this case, since she was a character with a lot of room for improvement/cool stuff and had some notable issues. We also believed Fiora had the potential to be a pretty successful gameplay rework, based off some early exploratory designs Guinsoo had been doing before he’d had to shift focus onto other stuff.

That decision to shift focus from Cass to other champs is something those of us making the call on what work to prioritize should have mentioned months ago, apologies for that lack of communication. If anyone’s got any queries about how we make those sort of priority calls I’m more than happy to have a go at answering them here. I probably won’t be able to answer specifics about Cass’ current state of balance or what guided detailed decisions on her rework however (will give it a shot if I can offer an at least somewhat informed answer, there’s a bunch of details there I wasn’t involved with/aren’t up to date on).

[ Link to Post ]


Taric Skins and Death Recap Bugfixing


Will Taric get a new skin soon

KateyKhaos Final PortraitHiya!

It’s definitely been awhile since Taric’s last skin.

He currently has a VU in progress, which means he won’t be seeing a new skin until the VU is complete. The reasoning behind this is, we would rather hold off and give him an awesome skin once he’s shiny and updated, rather than giving him a skin with his current look and then changing it drastically. It’d be a really crappy feeling if you purchased the skin that would be on old Taric, and then you hated the updated skin because it lost the piece you really enjoyed about it.

[ Link to Post ]


What about the Death Recap did you fix in Patch 5 14

Meddler Final PortraitPatch 5.12 and before: Death Recap’s not very functional. We identify that the biggest issue is that the right data isn’t getting passed to Death Recap to display.

Patch 5.13: We fix some stuff so death Recap now generally gets the correct data. That then reveals that Death Recap’s not sorting that data properly. That issue was there previously, but it wasn’t possible to distinguish that from data simply being absent, so we’d missed it.

Patch 5.14: We address the bug where death recap’s prioritizing small amounts of damage instead of large. Hopefully that puts it in a much better spot, if not it will assumedly reveal other problems we can fix.

[ Link to Post ]


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


News Update June 3


Official AnnoucementsPentakill’s Album is Out!

Single Posts


Recent News







Pentakill Album is Out Banner


Smite and Ignite is out and it’s free-to-download!


The time has come. The era of metal has begun. Download the full Smite and Ignite album.

After devastating Runeterra with their ear-splitting riffs and ground-pounding rhythms, the metal monolith that is Pentakill has finally reached our shores.

But Pentakill’s not just in your ears, destroying your minds. This patch, we’re updating each of the Pentakill skin splashes, sprucing up Pentakill Mordekaiser, Pentakill Sona and Pentakill Karthus’ in-game models and introducing a new Pentakill summoner icon in celebration of metal’s return. You’ll be able to earn the icon by playing a game with any of the Pentakill skins (One For All’s not included!), or pick up the icon for 250 RP or 1500 IP from June 3 to June 9 (normally only purchasable with RP).

Either way, crank the volume up to 11 and get your metal hands ready, because it’s time to rock out!


Pentakill – Last Whisper



Pentakill – Orb of Winter



Pentakill – The Hex Core



Pentakill – The Prophecy



Pentakill – Thornmail




[ Update ] Pentakill website


Button Rioter fizznchips: We’ll have credits and more come out with the Pentakill website tomorrow! Hold tight, duders. 🙂



[ Request ] Will higher-quality versions of the songs be uploaded (eg. 320 kbps/s)


Praeco Button Rioter Praeco: If enough people would like this, then yeah we can do that. Most streaming services are in this quality range, which is why I went for 192kbps, but can go higher if desired.




[ Question ] Who are the singers in the album?


Praeco Button Rioter Praeco: The only singers on this album are Jorn and ZP.




Single Posts banner



[ Question ] If the “Smite and Ignite” album is free, then why does it cost $5.99 on iTunes?


Morgageddon Button Rioter Morgageddon: Morgageddon pops in.

It’s free across many mediums, from this website as well. However, for those who prefer to use different media players (iTunes comes to mind), you can still download through their store however, there’s a fee for using it (as far as I know).



[ Suggestion ] Riot should adopt a DOTA-like drafting style


Button Rioter Blues: To simply add more bans.
Straight up banning 8 champions is probably a lot.. but if you do it like this for example:

EDIT: Not sure how it would work in solo queue since DOTA’s Captain’s mode works differently. Probably just add the two extra bans.

A: Ban
B: Ban
A: Ban
B: Ban
A: Pick
B: Pick, Pick
A: Ban
B: Ban
A: Pick, Pick
B: Pick, Pick
A: Ban
B: Ban
A: Pick, Pick
B: Pick

Its not perfect, just an example but it would allow “Froggen to get Anivia” (Riot used the example of Froggen not ever getting Anivia if bans were increased.) Which is a valid argument if you were to just continually tack bans on before anyone has the chance to pick.


You can find more similar ideas here. 


Riot Baconhawk Button Rioter Baconhawk: Oops. Moved it back. Forgot to post this earlier due to meetings and various distractions.

flies away munching on a strip of sizzling bacon

EDIT: ahhhhhh I didn’t mean to make everyone think I’m skirting the issue. I totally just wanted to let you know I reinstated the thread~ but I do think the debate regarding picks & bans is a valid and long-standing one. I don’t honestly play a lot of DoTA (I actually have played a some HoN) so I don’t really have *much* of an opinion, but I am enjoying reading your discussions!



[ Bug Report ] People dealing damage with Summoner spell “Revive”


Dannamoth Button Rioter Dannamoth: This is an issue with death recap, not someone hacking revive. We’re aware of death recaps…. temperamental behavior.





[ Bug Report ] Vel’Koz is unable to ult again if he’s killed while channeling it


Dannamoth Button Rioter Dannamoth: Thanks for taking the time to post this! Are you able to reproduce the issue? Also, did the ult ever “fix itself” during the game?





[ Downtime ] Server Maintenance: Patch 4.9


Riot Zaps Button Rioter Riot Zaps: On 06/04/2014, starting at 01:30 PST, ranked queues will be disabled in preparation for patch 4.9. At 03:00 PST, the servers will be shut down and all games currently in progress will end in a draw and stats will not be recorded. We estimate the battlegrounds will be unavailable for 6 hours.



[ Update ] Darius’ Rework


RiotScruffy Button Rioter Scruffy: Darius is still being worked on by the Champion Update team, and we’re still iterating on his gameplay. So no solid release date yet, but he is actively in progress.

Directionally, we are still working with the same goals Morello had mentioned in earlier posts: longer ramp up with a higher payoff. The goal is that the interesting gameplay moments come when the Darius player is fighting for “just a little longer” and the enemy is in more of a hit and run pattern to not let him build up too high.



[ Twitter ] For Belgian Fans: Sjokz Fan-meet




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



Nidalee and Fiora Rework Banner


Red Post Collection

Single Posts – Stale Balance, Skarner, Support Gragas



Fiora Rework Banner

Awesome news – Guinsoo is back and he’s ready to deliver on the fantasy of dueling Champions with a French fencer lady!



 GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: Hi guys. I’d just like to weigh in on what some of the Fiora goals are. The main problems we see with Fiora’s current kit are that thematically, she doesn’t deliver on the fantasy of being a skilled duelist/fencer, and mechanically, her game presence / play pattern / role doesn’t line up with being a skilled duelist/fencer.

As far as the duelist fantasy goes, at least when I think of Fiora, I expect her to be extremely mobile but not just going in, she needs to be good at dancing in, out of, around and about combat. She should be about finding weaknesses in the opponent’s play and finding the proper occasion to go on the attack. She shouldn’t be about running in and bursting enemies down, she should be dealing high, steady DPS over time that is relatively target agnostic.

Mechanically speaking, I’d expect a duelist type champion to be mechanically intense. I expect opportunities to use my abilities at optimal times to counter out the enemy’s champion. I want to have a lot to keep track of, but with clear success cases when I do well.

At the end of the day, live Fiora is a ball of stats with some untargetability thrown in; she pushes her buttons pretty much as fast as she can without a second thought, and she’s also extremely snowballey. In short, she’s bland with no cool opportunities to exchange gameplay between her and her lane opponent.

Some of the current goals including switching Fiora from an assassin to a melee DPS, and moving her lane from top to mid/jungle, and adding tons of ‘outplay’ functionality on her kit, as well as more mobility especially in terms of being able to disengage and re-engage at optimal times.

I can’t share too much of exactly what the plans are for her kit, as I’m sure it’s going to change tons during development, but I’ll leave this here to hopefully stir up some excitement for our favorite rapier wielder. Also bear in mind this is an early, experimental Blade Waltz, and could certainly change drastically between now and remake launch time.

I also understand it’s hard to understand exactly what this sample Blade Waltz does, given the lack of context on her basic spells… but rest assured, there are significant tweaks (or more) to all 4 of the other abilities, so hopefully your imaginations run wild 





Do you think this new ultimate will accomplish what the old one did?


GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: A great question. I’m not going to directly answer it, but I’m going to pose a theoretical question.

If one assumes that Lunge is _kind of_ like Blade Waltz’s jump around and hit things function, and that Riposte is _kind of_ like Blade Waltz’s untargetability, is it hard to envision a scenario where you don’t get the current functionality of Blade Waltz if you’re allowed to rapidly cast your basic spells? But with options around when each individual jump and spell block comes from, as well as considering how many jumps to use vs spell blocks vs disengages, when, how many auto attacks to weave in, when to focus more DPS vs more survivability vs more mobility, etc.

The goal behind the current ult was to sometimes emulate the behavior of the old one, but make it more timing and decision based, add more options, and add more counterplay for the opponents. I feel like the new ultimate offers far more opportunities than the old one, if one assumes that R/Q emulates the feel of her live Blade Waltz.



Do you think Fiora’s rework will allow her to duel the current top lane picks?


GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: Right now to me the ‘natural’ top laners are people like Renekton, Shyvana, etc. I feel like in order to make a melee ADC (ala Yasuo) compete with those types of champions in the top lane, we’d have to make other sacrifices to her core design (e.g. putting life regeneration on her kit, I really don’t like her current passive but I worry that without it she’d really struggle top lane).



As a fencer, Fiora should be about one-hit knockouts, not poking enemies


GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: OK, I feel like I used the wrong terminology when I said “poke enemies down.” I edited my first post to “deal steady, high DPS that is relatively target agnostic.” While I mostly agree with you that fencing is all about scoring OHKOs, well obviously that type of gameplay isn’t great for any type of PvP game.


The way we’re choosing to handle this is to give her strong, steady DPS, but have it come in bigger chunks that one might anticipate from a steady DPS champion. For example her Riposte has heavily negative implications on her outgoing DPS… unless she blocks a significant spell or attack, at which point she can respond with a very hard hitting Thrust.

In general we want her to feel good (and be greatly rewarded) for using her abilities properly. While that can’t be in the form of OHKOs, I think the next best thing is “big chunks of damage.”



Off-topic: Why were you gone for so long?


GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: Truth be told, 6 years of intense video game development got to me and I really needed to take some time to destress. I spent about a year traveling and relaxing and now I’m locked and loaded and ready to pump out some sweet content.



Why would Fiora be picked over Yasuo?


GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: Here are 3 reasons off the top of my head to pick her over Yasuo. Please note I’m talking about her new kit with new abilities, not her old kit with a new ultimate. I just spoiled the ultimate for funsies 

1) Kayle ult with a few catches on a normal slot
2) Weaker engage, but much stickier than Yasuo
3) Built in disengage



Will her Reposte be able to block tower shots while Fiora is using her ult?


GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: I doubt it. I’m not a great fan of tower diving. I think her kit still leaves her much better positioned to tower dive than the average champion even without being untargetable/immune to turrets. I’m not completely opposed to her having some turret mitigation capabilities. But I’d rather avoid it, and so far my instinct tells me she’ll do okay with out it just due to the sheer mobility on the kit.



Do you feel her passive is underwhelming?


GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: That’s kind of what I’m driving at – the passive feels lame, it’s especially lame in tense moments like battles with other champions, and its only real use is allowing her access to a lane that I don’t really feel she belongs in in the first place. It’s power without gameplay, and plus it feels useless too. It’s effective, but totally lameballs. That’s pretty much the opposite of where I’d like her passive design space to lie.



Why would a duelist be a jungler? It doesn’t seem thematic


GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: That’s an interesting consideration. But I still think mid lane works fine for her; perhaps you’re right that jungle isn’t where she belongs.





How will you balance Fiora’s damage spike from her new ultimate?


GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: Originally I was debating how to primarily balance this implementation of Blade Waltz. There are two obvious limiting levers, duration and number of casts. The version of which I posted a screenshot is clearly more duration limited. In this iteration I was counting on the various “drawbacks” / nuances of the abilities to limit the ultimate – e.g. travel times, delays, parry times, etc.


In the end with the directions we took for some of the other , and the more recent version is more moderate 8 second duration, with a limit of 4 / 6 / 8 casts (still needs tons of tuning). Also note that right now Blade Waltz doesn’t provide any bonuses to how hard the skills hit, to emphasize mobility and tactics over brute force during the ultimate (obviously when casting that many spells in succession, it’s going to be doing a certain amount of brute force work).

You’re partially right that an ultimate that uses stronger versions of your basic skills requires a sharp tuning knife to make it feel good with and without. But in this case, I think there are some “under the hood” things that we can do to make the ultimate feel like a thing of its own. For example right now when you activate it, it resets all your cooldowns so you can start your comboing or dancing immediately, you get X number of casts chosen pretty much any way you like, and afterward it puts the cooldowns back where they were. I think this really helps make the ultimate feel like a spell all of its own. Additionally, the more potent the “spell modifications” that Blade Waltz offers, the more it feels like the ultimate is a collection of different spells. I think the W captures that well right now, the E to some degree, and the Q not nearly enough.

She definitely pulls a lot of weight with all her spells. In fact, she’s decidedly spell based and mostly weaves autos between them, but still plays a lot like a melee ADC because she can cast so many spells within her windows and (conditionally) deal steady spikes of damage. As far as the actual itemization, that is yet to be determined. Right now, she does have an attack speed steroid elsewhere on her kit (originally it was on the ult, but that doesn’t fit for obvious reason), but it’s not clear to me yet if that will or should stick. That is one of the balancing levers for her that partially determines if she’s more assassin or melee ADC; in an ideal world I’d like her to play exactly like a melee ADC without any basic attack steroids, but that’s a lofty goal that’s probably not possible. I also don’t want her to rely exclusively on her auto attacks like for example Tryndamere, I think it should be somewhere int he middle.

And I don’t really have any thoughts on jungle Fiora at the moment. I’m really not sure if that’s a reasonable expectation or not. It has not yet been tested, and it’s definitely not the primary focus/intended role for her.



Will Fiora’s kit be overtuned to fit the Melee DPS archetype?


GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: I think there are levers you can tune to allow a character to be very mobile while not being completely out of hand. It’s definitely a hard goal, and melee DPS seem to be one of the hardest classes to get right. I certainly would like to try.



Can you make Fiora’s dash work on allies?


GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: It’s something we’ve considered; ultimately I don’t think it fits the fencing fantasy well so I’d rather try to go other routes to get the mobility we like. But we’re not opposed to it if other methods fail.




Why are you reworking Fiora when some people don’t want her changed?


GuinsooButton Rioter Guinsoo: People don’t like change. It’s in our nature; if we like something we don’t want it to change. But that doesn’t mean it’s not for the better. I’m confident we can deliver a new Fiora kit that delivers most of the same mechanics that the old one has (including the important ones like the Blade Waltz experience) but creates new gameplay and makes her actually feel like a duelist.

I prefer to focus my responses toward posts that are more constructive.



Warwick Relaunch

Warwick will soon be getting a full balance rework, complete with a visual update. More from Zenon.



ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: We have a full relaunch slated for Warwick, but the question is indeed when. Currently our highest priority in terms of full relaunches is Sion; as for visual only stuff we’re excited to bring you Twitch very very soon.

I’d love to say Warwick will happen at some point this year, but who knows. The landscape of what needs work most is ever-shifting. For what it’s worth, I have a kit I fully believe in ready for further work.



Is Warwick getting a full ability rework as well?


ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Yup! Blood Scent stays (but receives a toggle) and Hungering Strike becomes Hungering Strikes (still with a very similar purpose), but other than that a lot of things will change.




Will Warwick’s other skins get the running animation from Blood Scent that Hyena Warwick has?


ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: That’s a very good question! I do want special animations for all skins when he goes into Blood Scent, but I like that Hyena gets something special. Maybe the other skins will get somewhat more vanilla wolf running animations? That’s a conversation I will need to have with my animator once the pod comes online (once we start working on the art).



Will WW’s balance rework ship before his visual update?


ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: We had the discussion on whether or not we can ship WW without art, but some of the things we’re doing would just look very, very derpy without new art, so I’d rather wait. WW is at least a niche pick right now, unlike Heimer who was simply unpicked before the remake.



Is Warwick going to retain his life-drain tank niche?


ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Absolutely! If anything he’ll be more of a drain tank. He currently gains self-heal with bonus health, so if you want to drain tank you no longer build AP on him. He has a passive that stacks up on himself when he attacks stuff and his self-heal also increases with those stacks, so he needs to be in combat for a while before his drain tanking really comes online. It creates some pretty tense “can I live through the first 10 seconds of this and then become IMMORTAL DOG” situations.



What’s your favourite thing about this rework?


RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: My biggest like about the warwick gameplay changes in progress are that they give him many more important decisions and high moments. He will actually be able to make “big plays,” which is really great.




Nidalee Rework Banner

After extensive research, it turned out Nidalee is anti – fun. Rioters are on the case to bring Nidalee a shift in balance, along with some welcome QoL changes to her Cougar form.



RiotRepertoir Button Rioter RiotRepertoir: Hi guys! As has already been mentioned here, I’ve been doing work on Nidalee for some time now, and I definitely think things are headed in the right direction with her. I can’t really share specific details of the kit changes just yet, but I can share some of the primary (there may be others, but these are the forefront ones) problems that we’ve identified and are working to solve.


-The way Nidalee utilizes both forms to succeed is out of whack. She very regularly doesn’t have to use Cougar form as part of her killing pattern. This is not only unfair to enemy players, but also just a bit lame as a shapeshifting character.

-Nidalee doesn’t put herself at enough risk of death when she succeeds. I personally think it’s okay if Nidalee averages a high number of kills every game, but the number of deaths she accrues needs to be a bit higher to reflect that.

-Nidalee is pretty hard to control in Cougar form, and she just feels clunky much of the time. Even in pro games we see people Pouncing/Swiping in the wrong direction while farming or faceplanting into walls they meant to hop over.

As for Javelin Toss, I know this doesn’t provide a definitive answer on that subject, and once we have more definitive details on a direction, I’ll be happy to talk about them. At this rate, I wouldn’t expect Javelin Toss to undergo fundamental changes to its mechanics. It will almost assuredly remain a “deals more damage at greater range” ability, and it will hurt to get hit by. Furthermore, it probably won’t have cooldown reducing mechanics or ramping mana gates or something like that on it. None of that really matters if the Javelin that does hit you or your carry drops them from 100% health down to 40% at the beginning of the fight, because you’re still just forced to leave. In that case, we’ve just condensed the window of frustration rather that targeting the frustration itself.

Looking forward to sharing more details with you guys once we’ve something a bit more well-defined to talk about!



Any major changes to Javelin Toss?


RiotRepertoir Button Rioter RiotRepertoir: Basically, I think we can put Javelin Toss in a good state that leaves it satisfying without added intricacies to the reasons or timing of casting the spell. With a kit to support this, of course.




Will this impact bruiser Nidalee’s viability?


RiotRepertoir Button Rioter RiotRepertoir: Bruiser Nidalee should be fine following the changes, if not more fun to play.





Currently tested kit


ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Piggy-backing on this: we do have a kit in testing, designed by RiotRepertoire. That kit mostly tones down Javelin Toss’s mid range damage and creates a follow-up opportunity to encourage more time spent in cougar form (which is currently the wave-pushing and teamfight clean up form) (plus strategic map movement I guess).

However, to set expectations appropriately: just because we’re testing changes doesn’t mean those changes necessarily see the light of day. We test a LOT of kits, sometimes with crazy experimental changes (a Brand kit from last year comes to mind where Pyroclasm slowed down after each bounce but could bounce INDEFINITELY so long as the enemy team stayed together), and often the answer is “probably not worth doing”.

This is a strength of our design process. We’re highly iterative and we realize that there’s only so much value to be gained from theory-crafting it all out in your head. There’s a time and a place for spreadsheet design, and IMO that’s in the very beginning of a design idea, when you just want to get a rough read for the power level. After that there’s no substitute for “just put it in a playtest and see how it goes”.

My personal feeling is that while everything Repertoire’s changing about Nidalee is a positive change compared to live (a couple of GREAT QoL changes like pounce and swipe going toward mouse cursor), we’re not addressing the truly grating aspect of live Nidalee, which is random spears chunking you down to 50% health. In theory, Nidalee is mana gated and can’t just throw out spears all day. In practice, blue buff exists and Athene’s is a gold-efficient pickup even without the mana on it, so yeah. May not be a Nidalee problem. May be a problem of how we’re failing to do mana gating in modern League.

But the kit is still in testing and it’s way too early to tell where it’s going. Definitely don’t expect it to hit live any time soon; these things take time.



State of Rengar Banner

After the big changes to Rengar in Patch 4.5, it’s time to sit back and not get one-hit from stealth. What’s the community’s take on the rework?



Is Rengar getting shifted from an assassin to a fighter?


RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: To be clear about Rengar’s role in a team, we wanted to leave this mostly unchanged. He is still the guy that hunts the enemy squishies and can stalk around choosing his prey at will. His damage is lowered some, but we still want him to be a strong damage threat.


He is unique from some of the other assassins like zed or khazix because he has much more versatility with his ferocity skills (CC, Damage, Heals, many options here). On the other hand, some other assassins have escapes, where he does not. Considering he doesn’t have a reliable escape once he has engaged, we gave him some more tools like durability and speed so that once he is in, he has a means of contributing.

As far as items, we’re not designing towards any “right” way to build Rengar. He scales well with both offensive and defensive items and that is something that is cool about him as a character.

Keep in mind, we’re not going to leave Rengar out to dry if he has problems/needs changes. We already have a bunch of changes planned for the next patch like speeding up the Q attack animations significantly, and some ult warning changes that we have been talking about in this thread. We should have a bunch more data soon, which will help inform us if he needs more changes, and where.

I appreciate all of the feedback, and I know that change can be frustrating on a character that you know and love so well. Don’t fear for Rengar, he’s not going away anytime soon.



Any changes you’re planning for his ult?


RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: We have an ult change coming in the next patch that will not alert enemies if you wouldn’t be visible to them outside of stealth. This is really big for when he is ganking or approaching his targets from a brush or near walls. It was pretty silly to alert the enemy when Rengar wouldn’t have been visible out of stealth anyway, you guys were totally right on this one.

Also, the Q and Empowered Q attack animations are getting significantly sped up. This will fix a lot of the “my Q didn’t go off” cases, and it’s a non trivial buff in his dps output over time.

This isn’t the end, but it’s what I can say is coming with certainty right now.



Can you bring back Rengar’s Q+Auto Attack chain from brush?


RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: The Q from brush will be working better after our next set of changes as well. Also Q does currently and will still reset his auto attack.




Are damage a likelihood if Rengar proves too weak after his rework?


RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: Things like damage numbers are never set in stone. We will make adjustments to his damage if we overdid the changes. Real data will give us lots of information about how the changes turned out: Is his early game too weak? Is his late game too strong? etc.. Depending on what we find, adjustments will be made. It’s unfortunate that we cant play millions of test games with any changes before they release, but the least we can do is respond to the real data once the changes are live.



Single Posts banner



Are LoL Champions being standardized like the classes in WoW?


ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: Flattening unique and powerful abilities was something WoW had to embrace to some extent or else players would just stack classes with the most valuable unique mechanics and neglect the others. In Sunwell, you needed one shaman per melee party for Windfury, and in Throne of Thunder, you wanted several warlocks for Demonic Gateways and perhaps even Healthstones.


This is largely a function of the noble desire for boss encounters to have different mechanics, though it does exist in WoW PvP to a lesser extent. The sweet spot is having classes feel different without actually being dramatically different. Too many differences leads to lack of diversity, because your group composition becomes inflexible. You are forced to play Tetris to min max the class mechanics you need.

League is a different kind of game. Champs have fewer abilities than WoW classes, but the fights are also less predictable, so you don’t know that you will need a certain ability to solve the puzzle. Blitz’s grab or Sona’s auras are useful, but hardly mandatory, and you’re giving up something else to bring them. The game rules also don’t allow you to stack champs, One For All not withstanding. In this case, it’s important for champions to be as different from each other as possible. If two champs have similar mechanics, it’s easy to evaluate which one is the best choice, usually just based on higher damage or stats. In this case, not having enough differences can lead to lack of diversity. While it’s advisable to build teams with some synergy, there’s a ton more flexibility and much less of the Tetris feeling.

TLDR, champ similarity isn’t a League value.



Upcoming Buffs for Rumble


morellovatar Button Rioter Morello: Right now, the balance team is looking into Rumble buffs for an upcoming patch. With All-Stars, we’re unsure if that will be 4.6 or 4.7 (or later…), but there’s a few top laners we’d like to bring up – Rumble is one of them.




Can you give Vandal Twitch his green shades on his visual update?


Ququroon Button Rioter Morello: We’re investigating changes on this now.





State of Skarner


RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: We still have plans for Skarner, mostly in the realm of bringing excitement and a bit of the old identity that people liked about the old Skarner back.

We can keep a lot of the gameplay gains (versatility, windows of power/weakness) and add a bit more stickiness/cc control that people liked about the old kit. I’ve been in ongoing discussions about these changes with a lot of the team, and I should get down to implementing them sometime next week. When we have a more final changelist, I’ll let you know what we intend to do.



Is Support Gragas a possibility after the rework?


Riot Zephyreal Button Rioter Riot Zephyreal: When I first saw his kit on the community beta thread I immediately thought support Gragas. He now has 3 forms of CC at 6, his knockback on E is either tied or slightly further back than Thresh flay, and his Q slow is pretty heavy if there is any sort of charge up time (which you can set up with combos with his E or even more impressively his R).

His passive is also pretty sweet since he has to go kind of close with his body slam for trades, so that extra heal is nice if he can manage the passive timer well. But also given the fact that the E knocks back and stuns, he pretty safe to begin with if he wants to do an E+Q combo for harass. I’m literally chunking people for 35-40% HP (depending on Q charge) and walking away without a care in the world.

The one downside is that you’re not flanking much in laning phase as support Gragas to maximize the displacement on body slam, but again if you can combo a Q through an E (super easy with practice), it should be easy for your lane partner to follow up.


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


PBE SKT Banner


PBE 04/04

Red Post Collection

Single Posts




PBE 4 April



SKT T1 Jax Skin Preview



SKT T1 Vayne Skin Preview



SKT T1 Zyra Skin Preview



SKT T1 Lee Sin Skin Preview


SKT T1 Zed Skin Preview



Classic Twitch Visual Update + Voice-Over


Vandal Twitch Visual Update + Voice-Over


Gangster Twitch Visual Update + Voice-Over







 Kassadin New Portrait


Null_SphereNull Sphere [ Q ]

  • Shield increased from 40/70/100/130/160 ( +0.6 AP ) to 40/80/120/160/200 ( +0.8 AP ) [ live value of AP ratio is 0.3 ]



 Rumble New Portrait 


FlamespitterFlamespitter [ Q ]

  • No longer deals half damage to neutral monsters (Rumble in the Jungle!)



Twitch New Portrait

  • Base armor reduced from 18 to 14 from 18 [ probably related to the VU release & will be fixed ]
  • HP regen removed [ live value is 1 but, as the above change, will probably be fixed ]
  • Expunge [ E ] renamed to “Contaminate”
  • Spray and Pray [ R ]  renamed to “Rat-Ta-Tat-Tat” (And Lux’s Final Spark is now “Pew Pew Laz0rs”)



Vayne New Portrait



Improvements to Gragas

With the recent rework of Gragas in Patch 4.5, what’s the community’s opinion of the booze-loving fatty?



SolcrushedButton Rioter Solcrushed: This is the thread I hope to consolidate the feedback on the new Gragas. While we won’t be making significant balance changes before we have some data, feel free to suggest improvements, builds and lanes!

Some changes I will be making for the next patch regardless of his balance.

  • Gragas will not auto acquire a target after E if he has W buff active.
  • Gragas E hitbox adjustments to make sure you hit the units you feel you should be hitting
  • Gragas W autoattack buff lasts 1 second longer



Suggestion: E applies the tick of W to whoever it hits.


SolcrushedButton Rioter Solcrushed: Can you tell me what you mean by this? Do you mean the W will proc on whoever he hits with E?

I would think once the issue with the Autoattack after E is fixed, E would more or less guarantee a W anyway.



What is the direction you are trying to take with Gragas?


SolcrushedButton Rioter Solcrushed: Lanes were less of an issue to us when we were doing the rework. We were more concerned about changing his core pattern than we were about lane assignments.

We would expect that his new strengths and weakness suit him better in non-mid lanes but if he is still proven to be a good mid we would be fine with it, provided that the pattern change holds.



Why was the mana-gain from W removed?


SolcrushedButton Rioter Solcrushed: We felt the mana restore was an unnecessary part of the kit that would be awkward to carry over with the new W cooldown.

Also His mana costs were reduced quite a bit to reflect that he no longer has W mana restore and he will be building less mana items. Maybe they are not enough, we will see.



Gragas Support


RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: Gragas support seems pretty legit. I expect to see a good deal of it in our future.




Rengar Feedback

Rengar is back from Patch 4.5 with a fully reworked kit! But is he still the fierce assassin he used to be?



RiotScruffyButton Rioter RiotScruffy: The Rengar update is live and we’re playing and monitoring his performance a ton on our end. Let’s use this thread for constructive feedback. Once we have more data we will definitely be adjusting his power levels up or down if he needs it.

  • How are the changes playing for you?
  • What builds are you using?
  • What lanes are you playing him in?
  • Finding any bugs?

I’ve already seen a suggestion that I like: his alert to enemies during the ult only appears if they would be able to see him out of stealth, we’re already talking about this a lot internally. This seems like a good way for Rengar to optimize a bit more by taking clever paths on ganks and approaches.


Riot Jag
Button Rioter Riot Jag: I’m pretty interested in the builds that people try out on him. In playtest a lot of our experienced Rengar players thought Blade of the Ruined King was really strong on him. I think some people will make the classic Trinity/Sunfire/Spirit Visage build still work though.



Feedback: His Q feels very clunky and slow to use


Riot JagButton Rioter Riot Jag: Since this version of Q doesn’t give you AS it does feel a little slower at first, but we made some small changes to the spell to ensure it feels good. There may be an adjustment period but if it still feels clunky we’ll keep an eye on it.




Feedback: Rengar feels more like a fighter than an assassin now


Riot JagButton Rioter Riot Jag: We have definitely shifted the time-to-kill window for Rengar’s assassinations more into the fighter end of the spectrum (closer to Jax than Zed, for example). He’s not going to kill someone in 1-2 seconds, yes, but his damage over 4-5 seconds should be comparable to or better than the previous version while also having stronger tank stats and better stickiness.



Feedback: He’s weaker in lane


Riot JagButton Rioter Riot Jag: It’s true that his early lane has more weaknesses than his previous iteration. We shifted some of his power away from his Level 2 cheese and spammy E-harass, but added some back in sustained trades, healing when he’s behind in lane, and assistance for jungle ganks. One thing I’m curious on here is what is an assassin’s idea of winning lane, especially in the top lane. When we see assassin’s top lane they’re generally more than happy to be able to farm against bruisers.



Feedback: He’s a much slower split-pusher after the rework


Riot JagButton Rioter Riot Jag: If you feel like his pushing power is excessively weak I think that may be a fair criticism. We’d like to keep an eye on his overall power level since he has a lot of other really strong tools to aid in tower pushing (e.g. using an Empowered Q on a nearby minion for a strong AS bonus, the ult giving a good escape, etc.)



Feedback: Rengar is too weak to be either a tank or an assassin/fighter now


Riot JagButton Rioter Riot Jag: We want him to be in a state where he can still build to be a damage threat. If that’s not true, then it’s something we’ll address.





Why is the warning for when Rengar ults not global?


RiotScruffyButton Rioter RiotScruffy: There are a few people suggesting that the warning from his ult should be global. We thought about this idea actually but it was actually too punishing for Rengar because it gave his opponents too much time to react, and essentially removed all of his ganking power. Enemies would all just back up to their tower before he could engage, so we went with a much shorter warning time frame.

I’m much more keen on the idea that if he wouldn’t be visible, the warning will not appear. This rewards clever paths and approaches when ulting.



More from Ghostcrawler

After the brief info we got from Ghostcrawler yesterday, here’s more of his thoughts on Riot, game design and more!



 Why are some projects discussed with players and then scrapped?


ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler:  That’s a huge challenge of talking to players. If you want to be really honest, which we generally try to do, then that means talking about plans (even pretty solid plans) that have a chance of not working out. The alternative is not to talk about anything that isn’t 100% ready to ship. I prefer the former, but I understand it can be frustrating.



You’re like Morello! (in a good non-nerfing way)


ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler:  I love Morello too. We should hang out. The thing you have to remember as a developer when you’re talking to players is that some of them are going to be angry or even nasty, but you can’t let it get you down. At the end of the day, they are usually speaking out of passion just trying to improve a game they love (unless they are true trolls who just want to sow discord, but in my experience those dudes are pretty rare). Having passionate players is awesome. Every game developer very much wants passionate players!



With Riot being open with its community, you shouldn’t be taking so much flak


ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: I love this about Riot, and I love that a bunch of the Rioters posting are from disciplines other than design. It helps reinforce that these are real people (who love their job!) and not just PR bots spouting some approved company line. I think it also helps reinforce that it takes so many people from different disciplines collaborating to create a game.



Did you play League at all prior to joining Riot?


ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: I did. And then I played a lot while I was interviewing, but I had to do it in secret. BRO, WHY YOU PLAYING SO MUCH LEAGUE RIGHT NOW, BRO?





What do you think about the eSport side of League?


ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: It’s infectious! I’m not on the esports team, but I started paying a lot of attention to LCS once I started seriously considering moving out here.





Do you think Rioters used to communicate design decisions better last Season compared to this one?


ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: Okay, here is an example where I’m going to attempt to prove that I don’t mind leveling with you guys. But you have to not beat us up about it. We’ve talked about this a lot, and we agree that Riot used to do a better job of providing context, debating design changes, and following up on things we said we’d follow up on. When I was on the outside looking in, I was super impressed with how well Rioters communicated with you guys, and I think it’s fair that it has fallen off some this season or so.

It’s a priority to get back there. We probably burned a little bit of trust with you guys and it’s time to try to get it back. Please hold us to that, and let us know when we go astray.



Do you talk with Morello about WoW’s balance design in the office?


ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: We do. He still plays. As you might imagine, designers love to sit around and dissect design decisions in other games. I think a bunch of the guys have enjoyed asking how I really felt about various aspects of WoW.




Is it true you used to work on Age of Empires?


ghostcrawler Button Rioter Ghostcrawler: That’s how I got my big break. Some players like the “That’s what happens when you let a marine biologist balance your game” narrative, but I worked on Age of Empires for 10 years before I ever went to Blizzard. I started on Rise of Rome and worked on every title up until Halo Wars, which is around when I left. Ensemble Studios (who made AoE) was a great place to work and I still keep in touch with a lot of friends-for-life that I made there. It’s interesting to me that RTS games have kind of died off lately, save for Starcraft.



Single Posts banner



Refunding Reworked Champions


Riot DryTheRiver Button Rioter Riot DryTheRiver: Hey everyone,

I’d like to shed some light and clarify the above statement as it is not entirely correct:


If a champion or skin had a graphical or kit (play style) rework after your purchase, you do indeed have the option to refund them without spending any refund tokens. However, this refund is for FULL reworks only. Buffed and nerfed champions do not count as full reworks and, as a result, are not eligible for a refund. Also, in order to be eligible for this refund, you must request a refund on a visual/design rework within 90 days after the rework. We will not be able to give you a refund beyond the initial 90 days.

For more info, you can check out our content refund guidelines are available on the player support website at the following location:…ent-Refund-FAQ

Hope this helps 



Hopes for Mage-Fortune


ricklessabandon Button Rioter ricklessabandon: Going to bring this thread back from the dead now that I’ve had some time to read everyone’s responses and think about them a bit. My plans for the immediate future are to: watch Miss Fortune on 4.5 and make balance changes as necessary, and then make adjustments for AP-scaling Miss Fortune. I should be able to get something in time for the 4.6 patch—we’ll see how things test over the next week.

Based on where she’s at now I don’t think it’ll take much, but wanted to give you all a heads up that i’m still working on her all the same.

Plans for Fiora

morellovatar Button Rioter Morello: So, at risk of building hype… ;p

GUINSOO is working on a Fiora overhaul as a “light fighter.” We’re still in very early prototying, but we agree Fiora is one of the worst characters upon delivering on her fantasy – a skilled, deft fencer.

I think much of her kit will change, but for the better.



Bonus: Void Fizz Comic


Artist: Holyelfgirl

Link to Comic

I thought that was awesomely adorable, enjoy reading! And don’t forget to check out the artist if you like her work!



The (best) story of Void Fizz



PBE Heartseeker Ashe Banner




PBE 05/02 – Heartseeker Ashe Splash Art

04/02 Patch Notes

Official Announcements – The Path of Truth leads NA

Red Post Collection

Fan Art Showcase: Erina




PBE Heartseeker Ashe Splash Art


Previous PBE Updates:


Heartseeker Ashe Loading Screen

Heartseeker Ashe Loading Screen

Heartseeker Ashe Splash

Heartseeker Ashe Splash



02/04 Patch




Currently, the League system allows players to rapidly move up the ladder if they’re playing at a high skill level. In some rare cases however, players were entering their promo series and facing off against unusually difficult opponents. We’re introducing a change that allows players to skip their promo series up to Platinum I if they continually play at a skill level a full tier higher than their current league placement.

  • Players who consistently win against opponents a full tier higher than their current placement will automatically skip their promotion series as they progress to the next division. Series skipping will be possible up to Platinum I.


Bug fixes


Vision Wards

Vision Wards will now properly provide true sight to an enclosed area when placed in front (ie: dragon pit and Baron pit).

  • Fixed a bug where Vision Wards weren’t granting full true sight vision equal to their normal vision range

Blade of the Ruined King

  • Fixed an exploit with Blade of the Ruined King’s active



Path of Truth topic


Lunar Revel Path

The Path of Truth leads NA. Have you cast your vote for the warrior’s path your region will follow in 2014? Head to the Lunar Revel experience now to make your voice heard. Is the path you want to walk not in the lead?  Share your choice with your friends and add their voices to yours!

Lunar Revel Map



Rengar and Other Reworks Topic

What’s happening to Rengar? And other Champions in need of work?



Update on Rengar


RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: Don’t want to leave you guys hanging for too long. Just coming to update and say that we are doing small iterations and testing Rengar daily.

-We’re tuning lots of numbers to get his laning, ganking and late game power in a reasonable place.
-We have also made the trinket available in yellow, red, and blue with each being the corresponding vision active (ward, sweeper, clairvoyance)

We’re moving at a good rate with him and I’m still checking this thread for all of your feedback.



Don’t you think Ferocity expiring after 10 seconds is too short for Jungle Rengar to gank effectively?


RiotScruffyButton Rioter RiotScruffy: Ya, after some testing 10 seconds did feel a bit too punishing. Right now he has 12 seconds, and it’s based around combat instead of Ferocity gain. With those changes, it’s pretty reasonable to keep the Ferocity going as long as you keep yourself in combat.



How will Bonetooth Necklace upgrade?


RiotScruffyButton Rioter RiotScruffy: I’m leaning towards having it upgrade with the kill stacks. So 6 kills gets the +1 vision upgrade and 9 or 14 gets the +2 vision upgrade.




Unique upgrade for BTN and Ferocity Charges


RiotScruffyButton Rioter RiotScruffy: Hello Rengars. Two things to talk about today.

1. I’m trying out a unique vision active for the bonetooth trinket: Rengar places a trap that triggers when an enemy walks within its radius (~200 unit radius for testing). The unit is revealed with Rengar’s heat vision for 10 seconds. His first attack against the revealed target will cause him to leap.

2. Lets talk about the ferocity change because I’m seeing a lot of comments about it. The goal here is that we do want Rengar to start fights and ganks at 0 Ferocity, but we have given him a lot of changes to compensate for this change. His E now has a stronger slow that does not decay over time (this is big). Also his ferocity bonuses on all 3 basic skills are buffed so that when he does reach full ferocity, he is rewarded with a big finisher.

I really appreciate the feedback you all are giving in this thread, Rengar is really going to be sick when we’re through with him.



Any updates on Viktor?


RiotScruffyButton Rioter RiotScruffy: Honestly we would like to make improvements on so many champions (Viktor included), but right now he is not an active project. It is definitely noted that there are so many people interested in and hoping for some Viktor changes.



Will Gangplank get any changes soon?


RiotScruffyButton Rioter RiotScruffy: Gangplank is actually someone that we are working on, so yes! We will start talking about him in the future, but he’s still in the early stages.





Is Kassadin being worked on?


ZenonTheStoic Button Rioter ZenonTheStoic: We’ve got plans for Kassadin. Statikk is on the case. There’s no ETA for them yet, but I’m quite hopeful. the TL;DR is to force Kassadin to spend more time in melee range if he actually wants to do damage. I’ve watched some internal playtests and the direction is definitely sound.



Champion Design VS Balance


ZenonTheStoicButton Rioter ZenonTheStoic: Champion Design and Core Gameplay are two different teams, but we’re very close to each other. We sit literally right next to each other, we regularly have conversations about pretty much anything, and Rioters move back and forth between the teams.


As for a champion’s balance: pre-release the champion designer works with a balance signoff from core gameplay to make sure the champion’s about as balanced as it will get. Ideally the two work together early in the champion’s conception, identifying patterns that will or won’t be healthy for the game rather than just tweaking numbers on a completed kit. In my case with Lucian, I trusted Scarizard to make a lot of the calls. He even suggested some of the pattern changes that made it into the kit.

Post-release, game health is theoretically in core gameplay’s domain, but I can tell you that designers are very attached to their champions and normally the first to be vocally unhappy when their champion is OP. Pretty much all of the nerfs to Thresh came from CertainlyT directly, for instance. Core gameplay will look at those and say, yep, that’s pretty much what we would have done, playtest the change in their competitive games and then sign off on it. In the case of Lucian, I’m still unhappy with how unavoidable his Q is and how player expectation does not match raw damage output of his R, so I’m finding some ways of addressing these, once again with Scarizard’s help.



IronStylus Reworks Topic

Our favourite concept artist stops by the forums to give clarity on the Rework team, Visual Updates and why trolling is bad when criticizing.



Why not hire more people to do Reworks?


IronStylus Button Rioter IronStylus: We’re pretty adequately staffed. Relaunch is basically the size of a champion pod which will handle a single champion at the time. We’ve got dedicate resources for every discipline. I think we could probably use another 3D artist and texture artist, I myself am trying to train up in that regard, but we’re pretty lean and mean. Sometimes that’s how teams work effectively. Throwing people at the challenge doesn’t always make the most sense. Still takes 9 months to make a baby no matter how many mothers you have trying to do so 😛



Follow-up: Why not create a second team focused on Champion Reworks then?


IronStylus Button Rioter IronStylus: Ideally that’s what we’d want I think. Champion right now has enough resources to stagger productions. They use “pods”, or teams that see a character all the way through concept to production. Right now Relaunch is basically equivalent to one of those pods. Having multiple pods would allow Relaunch to up cadence. We’ll see. Sometimes we swap resources in and out, or sometimes people jump onto a different character or skin that they’re interested. Certain resources are fluid.

Some hiring might help, but to actually accelerate we’d need specific artists especially in the realm of technical animation/rigging and VFX where some bottlenecks lie. Sooo… let me know if anyone of you guys does any of those things!



Is Twitch getting any sort of updates?


IronStylus Button Rioter IronStylus: He certainly does need a VU.






If you’re working on a Kayle VU, will she keep her helmet?


IronStylus Button Rioter IronStylus: Well yes, helmets are sort of her thing 😛




How do you handle Skins for Champions who have received a VU?


IronStylus Button Rioter IronStylus: What we do is we take the existing skins and usually just update them to fit the geometry of the new model. Generally, like in the case of Master Yi, we changed the recolors to add some new geometry and details so that they weren’t just texture swaps.

If the champion is sort of new, we might just take the old skins and stretch them over the new rig, like in the case of Sejuani. For the most part, the skins don’t change too terribly much.



How do you sync up VUs with Balance reworks?


IronStylus Button Rioter IronStylus: What we’d like to do going forward is always package reworks with VU’s when applicable. Ideally, yeah, I’d have liked to do something with Xerath but it simply wasn’t in the time table. Similar to Heimerdinger. Hit kit rework had to ship before any sort of VU could be on the table. It just wasn’t feasible to ship together.

We sort of have a separate initiative to add recalls and other such things to the champions, but that;s more of a “side project” for some guys on animation.

Going forward though, we’re trying to ship stuff together. So that it’s not a piece at a time. We’re still not yet quite caught up with that cadence though.



Any Texture Updates coming soon?


IronStylus Button Rioter IronStylus: You can bug RiotPenguin about skins 

Generally TU’s are sort of what 3D artists work on for a “break” or personal project. They just happen to be so good that we ship them as content. It’s sort of a tertiary initiative in Relaunch, but doesn’t exactly have a dedicated resource assigned to the effort.

As for base Quinn touchups, probably no time soon. But who knows. Maybe I can try a texture update on her and treat is a TU for practice. We’ll see.



If you’ve been moved to the VU team, does that mean we won’t see any more Champions designed by you?


IronStylus Button Rioter IronStylus: Welp.. I’m concepting a bunch of champions, but it’s no guarantee they’ll ever see the light of day. I’ll probably have more work shown off through relaunch stuff in the meantime. My work has shifted a bit. Now I sort of shepard the concept phase of Relaunch, but I’ll pick up concept work on Champions and Skins. But since there’s already a lot of champions plotted out for this year, I’m mainly taking time to hone my 3D skills so I can offer more help to the Character team. Also, I’m trying to help in prototyping, giving us a way to visualize character creating in game rather than doing so much polished concept work. That’s sort of a separate thing.

All that said, You might see something from me later this year, but that’s only a small possibility. There might be some of my stuff in the 2015 lineup. We’ll see!



Feedback delivered in a toxic and offensive manner will not be heard


IronStylus Button Rioter IronStylus: Pretty much this.

This is the philosophy I abide by. I’m not going to address negative feedback which is delivered in a toxic, non-polite fashion even if it does have valid points. If those points are buried in vitriol, it automatically is passed by. That’s just my policy. I don’t have time to address rudeness, period.

If someone gives me feedback which disagrees with what we’re doing, is phrased politely, presented rationally, and gives me the same respect I’m giving others, then I will approach it. We may completely disagree, we might never come to consensus, but it will remain civil and respect will be maintained. At least a discussion will be had.

There are too few hours in the day to be throttled by feedback that’s wrapped in anger and negativity. It’s a time sink for all of us. To have that negative feedback, presented by those negative individuals, given equal weight as those who take the time to center their emotions, compose their posts politely and engage in a discussion that is mutually respectful, is unfair.

I will have no problem seeing vitriol decrease. You will have more dev presence if it does indeed decrease.

Which do you want? Negative feedback that’s presented in a toxic way having equal weight as negative feedback presented in a positive way and the dev presence fall off, or constructive and possibly negative feedback, presented politely and rationally, treated as higher value and encourage devs to interact?

I know which behavior I’ll be responding to.

Thanks for the discussion on this topic. There’s a lot I can take back to the community dev team and hopefully we can incorporate some helpful features. I appreciate the passion, feedback and suggestions. Time to move on to some other business.



Summoner Rift Topic

A summary of features Summoner’s Rift is currently lacking. Anything you’d like to see that’s not on the list? Share in the comments!



What on SR needs changing?


RiotForScience Button Rioter RiotForScience: I am going to try to talk our audio guys into visiting this thread to solicit feedback.

Moving forward with condensing feedback here is the next block of issues. Again points without asterix are basic great ideas. Ones with asterix are things that I need to give some clarity on.

16. The minions need a VU
17. We should flip the golem camp so that they face the other direction***
18. More destructible content like HA
19. Make SR look like the beta-site background Illustration***
20. Make brush move dynamically
21. Add damage states to the turrets
22. More variety in tree types
23. There needs to be a clear (but not clean) boundary between terrain and path
24. The River needs to make more sense
25. The different sections of the map need slightly different themes
26. There needs to be SFX for walking through grass or water ***
27. The terrain could get more worn as the game progresses ***
28. The houses feel really unnatural in the forest, the statues don’t make much sense
29. Summoner’s Rift needs to actually feel like a Rift
30. Trees should wobble when you shoot a skillshot through them ***

Concerning the idea of flipping golem camp. Stone Bros serve a function of allowing additional farm when your lane is pushed. However, due to the meta this gives a distinct advantage to duo-bot lanes. Part of the reason why we added the Wight-camp is to mitigate this concern. Hopefully we solved the problem, but not in the way you were expecting.

Concerning the forum background illustration. I have written about this quite a lot. This image was created without the context of gameplay concerns so is not the best basis for a hypothetical new iteration of the map. It is crucial that all of our content be very readable and clear. This image is beautiful, but does not do what we need.

“there needs to be SFX for walking through grass or water” Yes, absolutely… eventually… I read on the forums about how players can get frustrated by how long it takes us to add pretty simple tech to our game. The simple answer is that there is a “Tech-debt” backlog that needs to get cleared before we have the capacity to add new features. This one is a no-brainer and will be a very high-priority… when we can get to it.

“The terrain could get more worn as the game progresses” A cool idea, I love how it would help create an evolving game narrative. However, it also has gameplay interaction that would need to be thoroughly tested. Also, we have some optimization tech that might make it really difficult to do that.

Trees should wobble when you shoot a skillshot through them” This is obviously a lower priority than having really awesome looking trees to start with, but I could see this as being a fun thing to do. You would still have the same suspension of disbelief issue when a skillshot penetrates a non-tree object like a rock or building though.



Fan Art Erina Topic


DeviantArt Page


Previous Fan Art Showcases:









Miss Fortune

commish__stayinalivee_by_erina-d4yu9y8 (1)

Miss Fortune PIrate













Missed any recent articles? Check below:




Rengar Rework Banner


Scruffy: Rengar’s Rework Returns
RiotForScience: Summoner’s Rift Visuals

Single Posts

Champion/Skin Sale: 24.01 – 27.01



Rengar Rework

The long-awaited changes to Rengar are finally returning for testing!



RiotScruffyButton Rioter RiotScruffy: As promised, I’m here with some updates about where the Rengar rework is at and I would also like to get your feedback on the direction and changes.

Overall we hope to accomplish these goals:

  • Add counterplay to ranged harass in lane
  • Add counterplay overall
  • Make ferocity skill choices more compelling
  • Improve Bonetooth Necklace in both satisfaction and uniqueness
  • Lengthen the time Rengar can fight
  • Many small improvements to make all abilities more satisfying and fun

So with those goals in mind, here is our current changelist (numbers aren’t final so I’ll post those later):



  • Buffs to base health regen and health per level
  • All ferocity effects will deal damage based on champ level instead of the level of the spell


Unseen_PredatorUnseen Predator [ Passive ]

  • Ferocity stacks will reset to 0 if they are not used or gained for 10 seconds


SavagerySavagery [ Q ]

  • Cooldown lowered at all ranks
  • Now gives the same attack speed buff as base Q
  • Now gives 3 ferocity after it is used
  • Damage scales on champ level instead of spell level


Battle_RoarBattle Roar [ W ]

  • 3 Seconds after the initial roar, Rengar roars again for PBAOE damage and builds another Ferocity
  • Ferocity W scales on champion level instead of spell level


Bola_StrikeBola Shot [ E ]

  • Now a skillshot
  • Range increased from 575 to 1000
  • Damage increased
  • Slow increased
  • Ferocity E deals damage based on champion level not spell level
  • Ferocity E root duration increased


Thrill_of_the_HuntThrill of the Hunt [ R ]

  • Stealth duration increased from 7s to 10s
  • Rengar no longer gains movement speed while stealthed
  • After exiting stealth, Rengar now gains a significant movement speed buff for 5 seconds
  • The Ferocity gain begins after Rengar exits stealth instead of when the stealth begins

Bonetooth_Necklace_itemBonetooth Necklace

  • Is now a trinket!
  • Costs 0 gold!
  • Has a new active that places a temporary ward
  • No longer gives AD or AD per level
  • 3 Trophy Bonus: Movement speed out of combat and in brush
  • 6 Trophy Bonus: Additional leap range
  • 9 Trophy Bonus: Increased Thrill of the Hunt stealth duration
  • 14 Trophy Bonus: Gain movement speed while stealthed in Thrill of the Hunt

These changes are still WIP so this thread is all about getting your constructive feedback and having a dialogue to help us make Rengar a more fun champ for all players. I’ll be coming back to the thread later today to discuss the feedback.



How did you decide to make Bonetooth Necklace a Trinket?


ScarizardButton Rioter RiotScruffy: I can shed some light on this –

Previously, BTN was having issues for a few reasons:

1. Succeeding in lane or in ganks before purchasing BTN made you feel bad about ‘wasting’ some stacks
2. The actual purchase of BTN was quite poor in immediate stat-gain relative to other items

Even in the first draft of the rework (with it being built out of a Hunter’s Machete), it still faced some issues -AND- had to carry the burden of being Stat-efficient, Low/Mid Cost so people would buy it, and the upgrades had to feel useful (not to mention the effective gold value of whatever passives it would have) and BTN’s back is starting to get a little heavy.

Add on top of that the amount of sustain that jungle items are meant to have already to compete in the new jungle/season, and that’s quite a lot that BTN has to do. So, we could try to make it balanced (and no one buys it, or they do and lose gold-efficiency), or we make it fit into the game as-is (and you buy it 100% of the time for cost-efficient stats, and sometimes get premium bonuses). It was kind of messy.

Players had always been asking for a way in the previous threads/discussions for a way for Rengar to have it at level 1, which was pretty cool – we just didn’t have a really good way to do it at the time. Fast-Forward to now and we have Trinkets! A free item you get at level 1 with no cost and no stats associated with it. And so, the decision was made. And after a playtest i can tell you, it feels pretty awesome 

(Bonus Round – to all those worried about alternate maps, it’s entirely possible for us to include a ‘BTN Trinket’ but let it keep none of the yellow/red/blue functionality so Knifecat gets to see the world and bring the hunt with him. Think Poro-Snax!)



If Ferocity stacks disappear after 10 seconds, will this impact Rengar’s ability to gank?


RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: This would be true if we didn’t change anything else. The goal here is that Rengar enters fights with 0 Ferocity, quickly builds up and then releases with a powerful finisher. This will give him a longer and more engaging fight and we will add power to him if he needs it to be balanced.



Could you please explain how the Ferocity gain works after the ult’s worn off?


RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: Right, its the same as the ferocity gain that current Rengar has, but it starts after he exits stealth. The goal here is that coming out of his ult he will be in super charged fighter mode and be able to hit 5 ferocity stacks multiple times in the fight.



Have you considered adding variations to the Bonetooth Necklace, like Sweeper?


RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: Yes this is our very first iteration of it as a trinket. We will probably try out giving the option for all 3 trinket active types or even making it a unique active that only Rengar has.



Can we see a similar trinket mechanic done to Viktor’s Hex Core?


RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: This is the first that we are exploring the idea of a unique character trinket. If it works out well for Rengar we may think about if it could also be a good change for Viktor. The two situations are not exactly alike, so there will probably bee some differences in our approach for Viktor. For now no work is happening on Viktor’s item but don’t count it out for the future.



Are you removing the leap-from-brush mechanic on his Passive?


RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: He is still able to leap out of brush and his ult. The changelist I posted only mentions things that have changed. I agree that if we removed his leap he wouldn’t feel like Rengar anymore.



Awesome idea for Bonetooth Necklace active


Xelnath Button Rioter Xelnath: Hey Scruffy, here’s a crazy idea I had, that I should probably email you about, but, let’s throw caution to the wind.

[Disclaimer, this idea is half-baked and there might be a great reason to not do it]

Trinkets are about vision, right? What if instead of a ward, a scan or a clairvoyance, activating the bonetooth necklace gave you 4 seconds of the heat sensitive detection Rengar gets during his ultimate?



Summoner Rift

What does the community want improved to Summoner’s Rift look?



RiotForScienceButton Rioter RiotForScience: Hey folks, This thread has been around for a while and I wanted to do a summary of the feedback I am hearing here. So I re-read the entire thread and made a note of each point of feedback that was given. I also noticed several highly repeated points of feedback, which I assume are the issues that are the primary areas of improvement.

Most common feedback

  • Minions, Monsters and Gameplay objects need a VU
  • The map needs to retain a lighthearted feel
  • The creep camps need to make sense for the monsters that live there
  • The river needs to make sense and feel like a river
  • Trees and bushes should not be so uniform, Need to be proportional to the Champions
  • Make Summoner’s Rift fit it’s lore; or make the lore fit SR.
  • SR should be themed for conflict.
  • Music should be upgraded
  • The map needs lots of ambient life.
  • SR needs to be performant on low end machines
  • The map gets battle scars during the match
  • Balance the map by rotating it 45 degrees

If there is anything that you feel is important that wasn’t on this list feel free to post it here. I read everything on this thread. I am going to make several posts breaking down into deeper detail some of this feedback.



Regarding Battle Scars pn Map and Rotation (last two points)


RiotForScienceButton Rioter RiotForScience: I wanted to go into a little more detail about these 2 ideas.

The idea of Environmental Battle damage is really fun! But it could impact gamplay in unexpected ways and is more of an “Icing on the cake” feature than the core of what would be required for a VU. This type of feature is also less compatible with some of the technology and techniques we are using.

Rotating the map is frequently discussed and was even prototyped internally. We abandoned the idea for several reasons, but primarily because the map did not feel as much like SR when we did it. We are in development on various things to accomplish the goal that rotating the map is trying to solve.



Single Posts



How do you go about preserving a Champion’s theme and when do you consider a kit toxic?


RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: Good questions. “Feels like the existing champion” is a very important part of our approach to a rework or visual update. The end goal is”how can we make this champion the most fun and realized version that they can be while preserving their identity.”

When it comes to “toxic enough,” we don’t really have a hard threshold but there are 2 ways that we approach this issue:
– We try to tackle champions that have more negative effects on the game as a whole first (more toxic you might say).
– Whenever we make any change, whether it’s focused on lowering toxicity or not, we ask if the benefits of the changes outweigh the costs of changing something. And we definitely understand that there are many costs associated with changing a character that people have gotten familiar with and grown to like.



Quality of Life Improvements for Quinn


ricklessabandon Button Rioter ricklessabandon: I just submitted a change for testing (internal tests and PBE) that will put Harrier on cooldown when Valor is unable to mark a target as vulnerable. This includes a timer for the earliest time Valor will select a target.

Feel free to send feedback my way. curious to know if/how this alters standard Quinn play. Thanks!



Upcoming changes to Miss Fortune on PBE


ricklessabandon Button Rioter ricklessabandon: Hi! Sorry for the brief silence on this.Current plan is to submit some changes tomorrow night if everything works out smoothly. That would mean that she would be playable on the PBE on friday (at the earliest) based on the deploy schedule for PBE patches. I’ll post ‘patch notes’ for the changes once i do submit the changes, so there might be detailed information as early as tomorrow night.



Maps Skin Ideas


RiotForScienceButton Rioter RiotForScience: I think it is time for there to be a place where people can suggest Map skin ideas.

Some of the ideas I have seen posted elsewhere include

an Underwater Version of SR
A Piltover Skin for SR
Winter SR
Harrowing SR
Lava SR

What else could we do with our maps that would make really interesting skins?



Sale January 27





  • Fiddlesticks – 395 RP
  • Malzahar – 440 RP
  • Nautilus – 487 RP






Missed any recent articles? Check below:



twitter-icon-png-13 Follow me on Twitter!


experimental changes


A massive PBE update, including changes to to Master Yi, Zac and Phage, brand new skins – Arcade Hecarim, Riot Blitzcrank and the legendary Forecast Janna, New Summoner Icons for all 5 teams who’ve passed their regional finals, major updates to the Champions Tab,  as well as two brand new features – Teamfight UI and Baron & Dragon Spectator Timers!

Moving from the realm of testing, Riot have announced the release of League-themed American Express Serve RP Cards, RiotScruffy brings us news of Skarner‘s announced rework, IronStylus gives us a rundown of all Champions who currently have new skins in development and shares some incredible art for Diana, Kitae announces the results of the Freljord’s Tribe Events and, as always, the latest Champion/Skin sale!


PBE Update

Get RP with RP+ from American Express Serve

Update on Skarner

Future Skins

Amazing Diana Art

Freljord Event – the results are in!

Champion/Skin Sale – Expires August 19th


PBE: Champions






League of DravenLeague of Draven ( Passive )

  •  Now consumes all stacks on kills, changed from half.






The_CullingThe Culling ( R )

  • AD ratio reduced from 0.3 to 0.25




  Master Yi

  • Attack speed per level lowered from 2.75% to 2% per level (from 0.019 to 0.0135)


Meditate_newMeditate ( W )

  • Percentage damage reduction increased from 40/45/50/55/60%  to 50/55/60/65/70%



WujuStyle_newWuju Style ( E )

  • Passive AD increased changed from 7/9/11/13/15% to 10% at all ranks


Highlander_newHighlander ( R )

  • Passive: On-kill reset now reduces Master Yi’s remaining cooldowns by 70% (35% for assist), changed from 18 seconds (9 for assist)







FeintFeint ( W )

  • Shield reduced from 70/115/160/205/250 to 60/100/140/180/220






Let'sBounce!Let’s Bounce! ( R )

  • No longer reduces the duration of stuns, slows, taunts, fears, silences, blinds, and imoblizies by 50% while active
  • Now removes all slows affecting Zac when cast


PBE: Items



Blade_of_the_Ruined_KingBlade of the Ruined King

  • Active cooldown increased from 60 seconds to 90


Entropy_itemEntropy (Dominion and Howling Abyss only)

  • No longer grants 275 Health
  • Now grants 30 Armor
  • Total cost reduced from 3615 to 3350
  • Passive changed: Rage – Basic attacks grant 20 movement speed for 1.5 seconds. Kills grant 60 movement speed for 1.5 seconds.


Frozen_MalletFrozen Mallet
  • No longer requires Phage to build. Now builds out of A Ruby Crystal, Giant’s Belt and Pick Axe
  • Total cost decreased from 3300 to 3005



  • No longer grants 200 Health
  • Now grants 20 Armor.
  • New build path: Cloth Armor + Longsword
  • Total cost lowered from 1465 to 1200
  • Passive changed: Rage – Basic attacks grant 20 movement speed for 1.5 seconds. Kills grant 60 movement speed for 1.5 seconds.


Sanguine_Blade_itemSanguine Blade (Twisted Treeline, Dominion and Howling Abyss only)

  • New build path: Vampiric Scepter + Pickaxe
  • Total cost lowered from 2850 to 2175
  • Total AD reduced from 65 to 50


Spirit_VisageSpirit Visage

  • Total cost increased from 2625 to 2750


Trinity_ForceTrinity Force

  • No longer grants 250 health
  • Now grants 20 armor
  • Movement speed bonus decreased from 10% to 8%
  • Total cost reduced from 3843 to 3578
  • Phage Passive changed: Rage – Basic attacks grant 20 movement speed for 1.5 seconds. Kills grant 60 movement speed for 1.5 seconds.
  • After using an ability, the next basic attack deals 200% of base AD as bonus physical damage, increased from 150%


PBE: New Skins



Forecast Janna (Legendary Skin)


Forecast Janna

Forecast Janna Splash Art




Arcade Hecarim


Arcade Hecarim

Arcade Hecarim Splash Art




Where did the idea for Arcade Hecarim come from?


IronStylusButton Rioter IronStylus: I’ll tell you wht we were thinking..,

Rainbows. ****ing guitar powered, supersonic, chrome plated rainbows.

Fun fact!


This skin is actually the product of one of our Thunderdomes. A span of about 2 days where we all get into groups and burn on a project we want to see happen. Some great stuff has come from TD, including the first iteration of Ardade Hecarim. Everyone went giggly over the particles and silliness. We’re all fans of this sort of 80’s craziness, and for some reason, as absurd as it was, it seemed to fit considering other popular media we’ve been exposed to.

After TD, we reevaluated what we had then put him in the pipeline proper for proper modeling tweaks, animation cleanup and particle work.

Either way, I love being at a place where something we are able to bang out in 2 days can get so much buy-in that we can get it into the pipeline and make it really awesome!



Riot Blitzcrank


Riot Blitzcrank Splash

Riot Blitzcrank Splash Art




PBE: New Summoner Icons


Five new icons are available for the teams who qualified for the International Wildcard Tournament.


570_GamingGear 571_Pain 572_Lyon 573_Immunity 574_DarkPassage


PBE: Champions Tab Rework


Champion Tab Rework

Champion Tab Rework Preview

A wider view of the champion list, better filters and faster performance are just some of the updates to the Champions Tab.



Explaining the changes


Damiya Button Rioter Damiya: Summoners,

With today’s deploy of 3.11 to the PBE, we’ve given the Champions tab in the Summoner Profile an update. The release of 3.10 brought with it some improvements to the champion tagging system, removing the old multi-filter process and giving each champion a primary role. The new and improved Champion Inventory includes a broader grid, a role-selection dropdown, and a significant performance boost when navigating between profile tabs.

When you’re next on the PBE, feel free to check out the new and improved Champions page; we’d love to hear your thoughts on the new layout. If you encounter anything that seems amiss or doesn’t work like you expected, please take the time to share that with us in this thread!



Can we see what champions our friends own yet?


DamiyaButton Rioter Damiya: That’s beyond the scope of this change, and while I can’t tell you exactly why we don’t show other people’s champions (Mostly because I don’t know), at a guess it’s due to privacy concerns and stuff; while I realise that most of you want to use it for positive reasons, I could totally see people getting harassed for not having enough champions or something.



PBE: Teamfight UI


Keeping track of the action will become a whole lot easier for commentators!



kitae Button Rioter Kitae: Hey PBE-ers,

We’re testing a new UI mode for Spectator mode and would love your feedback. We’re calling this mode theTeamfight UI. The overall goal of this mode is to provide a great viewing experience during large team fights.



Preview of Teamfight UI (bottom)


Our specific goals:

  • Minimize and concentrate the UI so it’s easier to focus on the action during team fights.
  • Optimize the display of battle information: Who is involved in the fight? Who’s winning? How many people have died on either team?



The Teamfight UI’s functions


Let’s take a closer look. In this screenshot we can see:

  • Team health bars help viewers track the momentum of fights, and register the power of AoE damage and heals.
  • Loss of control icons help viewers track powerful status effects–if Malphite’s ult hits all 5 of the enemy team, it’s easy to see.
  • Kill counter tracks each champion’s progress towards the elusive pentakill
  • Ult / Summoner spells are easily viewable for both teams in a central location
  • Dead champions have the familiar death timer



Additional functions


Not every champion is always there when a fight breaks out. The team fight UI helps you understand who’s in the thick of battle:

  • Near champions like Caitlyn are represented with bright character portraits. Near champions are on-screen champions and other champions we identify as being involved in the team fight.
  • Far champions like Renekton have darker portraits
  • Team healthbars reflect the health of both near (bright) and far (dark) champions.

You can help test this feature by spectating matches on PBE. While the UI mode is intended for use during team fights, it should work correctly all the time (like all other Spectator UI modes). To engage the team fight UI, press ‘a’ while spectating.

Please test this and give us your feedback!



Follow-up: People who’ve worked on the Teamfight UI


kitae Button Rioter Kitae: A cool note: the Teamfight UI was a Riot Thunderdome project, where Rioters form teams within the company and work on brand new passion projects within a contained window of time. Other Thunderdome projects include Proving Grounds ARAM, turret aggro indicators, Item Sets, and some others.


Here’s Thunderdome Team 5, bringing you the Teamfight UI!
• DefaultChar
• Fruitstrike
• Riot RoboLions
• Joy2TheWorld
• kitae
• Pitayin
• RabidLlama
• Redbeard
• RiotMagus
• World Peace



Will the UI provide feedback on when important items are activated? (Locket, Zhonya, etc.)


kitae Button Rioter Kitae: We’re definitely thinking about that. Invulnerability and shields is something we’d like to better communicate.





Drawbacks: Not being able to see Champions’ health bars when they’re off-screen


kitae Button Rioter Kitae: The UI was designed to provide a great experience when viewing a specific team fight. We included the mini-map and off-screen portraits and team health bars to help players understand the possibility for reinforcements.

However, there will be cases, like two simultaneous fights going on, where using this mode will give you less information. In that case, I’d recommend using the normal UI.

TLDR; use this UI when you want to focus on a specific fight that’s on screen. For monitoring action across the entire map use the standard UI.



Will the new UI be able to reflect intense moments where people are very low on life?


kitae Button Rioter Kitae: If these champions are on-screen you still have the health bars over their heads. We are also experimenting with the algorithm for calculating the team health bars to better represent situations like the one you describe.

Thanks for the feedback, go try out the feature!



Will this feature change the way games are viewed at LCS and other events?


RoboLions Button Rioter RoboLions: We certainly would love for the LCS crew to use this view and we actively worked with them to get feedback on the feature so that they would be amiable to doing so. In the end it is up to them to decide how this fits into their day-to-day but I’m hopeful!




Teamfight UI: Suggestion Box



Making the Team Health Bar the way current Champion Health Bars are shown (5 bars)


RoboLions Button Rioter RoboLions: We had considering doing exactly what you propose and I was the biggest advocate of that method, here’s what it came down to and why, in the end, I happily changed my mind. Any variation of effective health gives too much credit to the tank on the team and not enough credit to the squishies that have to use their escapes (and their wits) to stop from being roadkill.

In that system, an ADC that is at 10% health contributes roughly equal health to the team bar as the same ADC at 90% health just because they don’t have near as much total health as say, Alistar. Clearly that is not a fair representation of how the team is doing!

At 90% health Caitlyn can net away, Ezreal can shift, flash may not be burned yet, etc, and then they can continue to do damage from the back. At 10% health they are as good as dead and getting back into the fight is suuuuuper risky.



Making players’ cooldowns visible


kitae Button Rioter Kitae: Interesting idea. I’m worried by the potential for visual clutter, this seems like something that would get added to the main UI first. I definitely see the value, but worry a bit about the clutter.




Moving the Team Health Bar on top


kitae Button Rioter Kitae: I can see this working, we tried it both ways and liked it better on the bottom, but it’s an option to keep in mind. I think from a readability perspective it works in both cases.





Adding a teleport indicator to the UI


kitae Button Rioter Kitae: Good suggestion. There are a lot of powerful effects like Zhonya, shields, shen ult, that woudl be cool to visualize. We wanted to nail the basics first but in the future this is a possibility.





Moving the champion portraits to the left and right of screen


kitae Button Rioter Kitae: One of the goals was to centralize the portraits. Currently you need to glance left, right, repeatedly to modify champion portraits.





Placing dead champions at the back of the UI


kitae Button Rioter Kitae:  I can see this, but champion portraits re-ordering could be pretty confusing as well. Imagine someone ressing mid fight and ‘popping’ into the middle of the portraits.





Mousing over the champion’s icon highlights their health bar


kitae Button Rioter Kitae:  That is a pretty cool idea!





PBE: Baron and Dragon Spectator Timers


Dragon and Baron Timer UI Banner

A brand new feature, delivered by team StrikeForce – a Dragon & Baron Timer UI for Spectator mode!



RiotBrokenSwordButton Rioter RiotBrokenSword: Hey PBE Community,

My team, Strike Force, has recently developed a feature for Spectator Mode to improve the viewing experience of your friends’ games, and the broadcasts of LCS. We’ve had a lot of requests for the feature since the release of Spectator, and we’ve finally got it for you, right on time for the Playoffs and the World Championships: it’s an in-game timer for Dragon and Baron as they get ready to spawn!

The timers will appear 2 minutes before the monster spawns, then fade away shortly after displaying the message “LIVE”.

I’d love for everyone to spectate the sh*t out of some games to vet this feature as thoroughly and extensively as possible. Additionally, be sure to send me and my team feedback on this post, so we can fix any and all bugs that we missed on our end. The feature is solid as is, but there are always uncertainties when working with software.

Here’s a few screen shots of how they will appear…



Dragon Timer


Baron Timer


Dragon & Baron Timers



Follow-up: Why the new UI is an improvement


RiotBrokenSwordButton Rioter RiotBrokenSword: Thanks for the feedback, everyone.

I’ll explain a little bit about why the feature acts the way it does at a strategic level.



We chose to have the icons appear and disappear on timers, rather than be static, to keep ourselves from piling on more information onto the screen than we feel is relevant to the particular moment of the game you’re watching. If you look at the spectator UI in its current state, it’s already pretty cluttered, and that’s without the overlays in the eSports broadcasts. If you were to look at the screen and break it into chucks, and make those chunks fractions, you’d realize that we’re already taking 1/4 of the game from you with Spectator and LCS overlays. The purpose of Spectator Mode is to show viewers the game currently in play, not a bunch of irrelevant information. Static information only hides more of the game from sight. So we chose, and will likely continue to choose, to show only contextually relevant information.

A few tactical notes:

We kept the timers below the threshold of three minutes to help mitigate the feature being exploited for the benefit of the players in the live version of the game. So viewers will only be seeing the timers a minute after the event has already happened. This, of course, doesn’t apply to eSports broadcasts, which stream with 0 delay.

This is only the first iteration of this feature, so it will be evolving with time. 


Get RP with RP+ from American Express Serve


American Express Serve

If you’ve ever felt the masochistic need to carry a Teemo-themed credit card, then today is your lucky day! 



RP+ from American Express Serve is offering a new way for League of Legends players to get RP – you can earn RP when you sign up and start using your Full Service Reloadable Prepaid Account:

  • +1,000 RP after successful sign up and email verification
  • +1,000 RP the first time you load $20 or more to your Account
  • +10,000 RP the first time you use Direct Deposit to add $20 or more to your Account
  • +100 RP for each of your first 10 Card purchases
  • +Continue earning RP on the things you already buy

Choose a Card design with Teemo, Vi, Lux, Twisted Fate, the Summoner’s Cup or the League of Legends logo, depending on how you’d like to represent off the Fields of Justice.

A few things to remember before you sign up:

  • Accountholders must be 18 or older (or 19 in certain states)
  • Accountholders must be US residents
  • You must have a North American League of Legends account to earn rewards
  • No credit check or minimum balance


Update on Skarner


Skarner decoration

Following RiotScruffy‘s recent announcement that he is working on improving Skarner, here is an update on how the changes made to his E ability.



RiotScruffy Button Rioter RiotScruffy: Hey all, back with some more details. We’re trying out an iteration of the E that is a bit more like the old E in usage but there are some other changes that help it fit nicely into his new gameplay pattern.



FractureFracture ( E )

  • No changes to the skillshot, it’s still a free cased line nuke
  • Range increased by roughly 20%
  • Projectile width decreased by about 20%
  • Deals magic damage to targets hit and slows them by 30/35/40/45/50 for 2.5 seconds

The goals here were to retain the fun and diverse gameplay of the line nuke. The free targeting and skillshot feel of the E is a nice change of pace from Skarner’s other melee focused abilities. We’re also trying a longer/slow/less wide projectile so that targets of the E have the opportunity to dodge it (counterplay).





RiotScruffyButton Rioter RiotScruffy: Two more pieces of clarification about the E we are currently testing.




FractureFracture ( E )

  • It slows immediately (not on the mark proc)
  • The mana cost is significantly lower than the old E


Also, thanks for the feedback, I read it all. This new Skarner is very strong in our playtests so far. I am personally very excited about the skillshot E because it adds a bit more thought and precision into his gameplay.



How does Skarner feel as a result of these changes?


RiotScruffyButton Rioter RiotScruffy:




  • His pre 6 ganks seem to just be all around better. Even in the case where you are ganking a lane with good initiate, you can just save the E for when their CC wears off.
  • Here is a noticeable hunger in the midgame for ability points because he now uses 4 abilities instead of 3. Choosing to max W or E first is viable, and it depends if you want the more consistent speed/defenses or stronger damage/slow. It is a good thing that he doesn’t max out around level 12, and can keep growing all the way into late game.
  • His ability to permanently slow and stick to tanky characters is less. This isn’t actually a big problem because his brawling ability with Q and attack speed is still very strong, and when your target tries to run, you can use E to close the gap. The power of having a ranged slow makes his chasing ability as good if not better than before.
  • As for late game teamfights we have seen that the ranged slow is actually very useful for peeling because Skarner can actually dive on the back line and still throw Es in any direction to peel for his back line. It seems like a net neutral change in his ability to peel for his team. The more significant difference in late game teamfights is the R, which is now much more reliable once you have gotten in range of your target.

These changes are still being evaluated.



vi pre-banner smallFuture Skins


  •  Urgot
  •  Zed
  •  Zyra
  •  Thresh
  •  Nami
  •  Skarner
  •  Kha’Zix
  •  Rengar
  •  Syndra
  •  Viktor
  •  Vi





IronStylusButton Rioter IronStylus: Every champion listed above currently has a skin in development, somewhere along the pipeline. Delays and time between skins hinge on a number of factors, I’ll list some particular to this list:



Urgot – Something under development, however he’s shambly and we need to screw with the rig a lot.

Zed – Fairly straight forward aside from that his shadows might be something else entirely in any given skin, mandating possibly another model and particle work for that model.

Zyra – Tons of models which require animation if they’re anything different than the plant rigs, lots of particle work.

Thresh – Chains.

Nami – If we change the model into a different type of fish/sea creature, that will requite custom rigging for whatever additions we make. Example, new fins/membranes need a lot of animation support. She’s also very particle heavy.

Skarner – Soon(tm)

Kha’Zix – Extremely VFX heavy, evolving model, etc.

Rengar – Not sure where he’s at. He’s straight forward, but not terribly old.

Syndra – Heavy particle work, possibly fabric animation support depending on the theme. Doing something cosmic would most likely require model translucency and/or scrolling textures which are just now being used on some newer skins.

Viktor – Tons of particle work and a couple of models for his traps.

Vi – Fairly recent release, should be something along relatively Soon(tm)

Aside from those specifics, certain things can constrain production, mainly VFX and animation. Both of which are heavily valued when it comes what players enjoy about new skins. Both tend to be the most pinched of resources internally. Additionally, a skin for any given champion might be in production, but then an event (Lunar Revel, Harrowing, etc) might pop up on our radar and we may realize a champion would better fit there. We might put the in-progress skin on hold while we make something appropriate for an upcoming event. Happened to a concept of mine recently.

As for Rumble, which people keep bringing up, I’ll restate: He’s the equivalent to the work of a new champion. He requires a completely new rig and animation sets if he’s to be anything different than the rickety mech he’s in now. That rig doesn’t support anything to the magnitude of fan-requested ideas, or concepts players have submitted. We’re going to change his rig for his upcoming skins. One of which is currently in production, but as I said, needs heavy animation support.

Hope that helps clarify!



Why are Darius and Vi getting skins before Zyra?


IronStylusButton Rioter IronStylus: Zyra currently has a couple nearly complete models in the backlog. (This does NOT mean they have had animation or VFX support.) However, recently we felt she would slot into an upcoming event quite well. We decided to concept that and move forward on that skin. Zyra is massively intensive. You’ve just compared her to two melee fighters. Some of the “easiest” champions to produce due to limited VFX needs.



Didn’t you hint at the development of Diana skin some time ago?


IronStylusButton Rioter IronStylus: Did a concept, completed it, scrapped it due to an event that could use a Diana skin. I’m currently reconcepting it as I type this.





Why isn’t Evelynn on the list?


IronStylusButton Rioter IronStylus: Eve will get a relaunch before any more skins most likely. She’s in shambles.





Are you working on a Nunu VU?


IronStylusButton Rioter IronStylus: Grumpy Monkey currently has a high-rez model of Nunu complete. This is nowhere near to being an indicator of when he will be coming out however. He is on the list though!



IronStylus shows amazing Diana art



IronStylus Button Rioter IronStylus: Howdy. Was doing some color practice tonight and thought I’d share the outcome. This is HEAVILY influenced by reference I was using of this awesome painting of a lady.. but I can’t find the source.. Also heavily referenced from one of the initial sketches Knockworst did while doing Diana’s splash.



Diana Color

Diana Close-up



Why does she have a crack on her forehead?


IronStylusButton Rioter IronStylus: So, the super-secret head-canon I have, which I have no idea if it’ll be actually integrated, but it’s something that Team Diana talked about way back in the day.. is that her mark is a physical brand. The Solari elders literally took a tool and burned that mark into her face. Though, they were so blinded by ignorance, or maybe they liked irony so much, that they branded her with the ancient symbol of the moon.

This scar burned her hair, giving her a larger forehead. After she flipped out, surrendering all her humanity to deep sadness and pain, that’s when this thing became full of fancy. That’s when her bond with the moon began. The marks on her eyes weren’t makeup, they were burn marks and scorches coming from the magicalmoonlight affecting her eyes and causing her tears to boil on her face.

Soooooo yeah. A little emo.



Why the lack of a glowing moon symbol?


IronStylusButton Rioter IronStylus: Yeah, simple glowy thing for no reason works for in-game and for the short amount of time we have to tell a story, but if I were to make a movie or something, I’d put that gut wrenching part into it.

In my opinion, Diana should be beautiful but the Solari scarred her so deeply, inside and outside.



Will you do a portrait of Leona as well?


IronStylusButton Rioter IronStylus: Ugh.. I’ll try, but I’m terrible at rendering metal, I’m gunna need to call in some help for that one!





Did you use a reference portrait for your sketch?


IronStylusButton Rioter IronStylus: Yup! Kienan (Knockwurst) always made little portraits of the characters he was doing splashes for. I’ve always loved the one he did of Diana so I used that as reference for this piece.




What other champions will get skins in the near future?


IronStylusButton Rioter IronStylus: Hmm let me try a really crazy thing..

Every champion, unless slated for a relaunch, has a skin in development. Those champions which need relaunches are pretty self evident when you compare their quality to current standards. By that math, I think you can assume who is on the relaunch list, as long as it may be, and who has a skin currently in the works.

Does that answer most questions?



Any celebratory event skins we can look forward to?


IronStylusButton Rioter IronStylus: Events like the Harrowing, Snowdown Showdown, and Lunar Revel are all that are on my radar at the moment.





Will you update Alistar’s looks?


IronStylusButton Rioter IronStylus: Not a high priority. Not sure how extensive of an overhaul he’d get.




Freljord Event – the results are in!


Freljord Website

Which tribe won the community’s affection? Who will celebrate in the chilling depths of the Freljord – Ashe, Lissandra or Sejuani? Find out below!



kitae Button Rioter Kitae: Hey Summoners,

Recently on on Reddit, Papochka asked what the results of the Freljord event were. I’m here to share them with you guys!


Freljord Results

Result Chart: click for high-res.


As you can see, a couple things stand out:

  • Different regions favored different tribes: The Frostguard (led by Lissandra) received the most worldwide support, but all three tribes were #1 in at least one region.
  • It was a close race: Each tribe received significant support in all the regions we tracked. Sejuani and her Winter’s Claw tribe support in Korea was the lowest result we observed, and still constituted 26.2% of players!

The Freljord event was intended to shine the spotlight on the Freljord, feature it’s three leaders, and present a difficult choice – which tribe will you support? We wanted all three tribes to be compelling, and were pleased to see that they all appealed to players around the world.

Which tribe will rule the Freljord? Only time will tell. The Freljord event set the stage for future stories and conflict in this harsh, icy, region. What will ultimately set things in motion? Who knows.

But if the Watchers return…that would make things…interesting….


Champion/Skin Sale – Expires August 19th


Sale 19th August

Enjoy the following champions and skins at a discount until August 19th!




  • Blitzcrank – 395 RP
  • Jayce – 487 RP
  • Wukong – 440 RP



Bandit Sivir – 375 RP


 Bandit Sivir


Death Blossom Elise – 487 RP


Death Blossom Elise


Royal Guard Fiora – 260 RP


Royal Guard Fiora



Missed any recent updates? Check here!


Patch 3.11 Teaser, Legendary Skin for Janna, Zileas on Game Design, New Bundles in the Store, Summoner shows unique Skin Splash Arts and the latest Sale!

Are Leagues better than S2’s Rating? Morello on LoL’s core design, Nerfs planned for Master Yi, Lucian still not live, Rioters object to Mercy Voting, No plans for Udyr VU and the new Sale!

Mercy Vote: Anti-AFK System, Update to Galio, Lyte on Positive features, Visual Overhaul for Summoner’s Rift and the latest Sale!

Patch 3.10 – Big Changes to Elise/Master Yi/Ryze/TF, New MR Items, Jungle Nerfs // Rioters discuss Skarner and Rengar!

Ask Lyte: Positive/Negative Players and State of Tribunal; Spellbreaker removed, Tristana’s E and Season 4 Changes!


twitter-icon-png-13 Follow me on Twitter!



Here‘s how IronStylus gets to work each morning.