Archive

Posts Tagged ‘season 4 news’
Comments off

 

Champion Skin Sale 17 November Banner

The following Champions and skins will be 50% off until November 17th:

 


Champions


Nocturne Final Portrait

Sion Final Portrait

Vi Final Portrait

 

Debonair Jayce – 487 RP


Jayce_Debonair_Splash


 

Grungy Nunu – 375 RP


Nunu_Grungy_Splash


 

Leprechaun Veigar – 260 RP


Veigar_Leprechaun_Splash (2)


 


If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.


 

PBE 12 11 Banner

 

PBE 12/11

  • Champion Changes
  • Item Changes

 

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

[ Note ] The Preseason changes are up on the PBE. They’ll be live with Patch 4.20.

 

All PBE Updates from Patch 4.20 Cycle:

[ 12/11 ] Ward Skin Gifting, Preseason Icons, Nerfs to Amumu, Kha’Zix, Lee Sin and Warwick, Stat Buffs to Ryze and Jayce

[ 07/11 ] Maokai Visual Update (Unavailable), Updated Graves Splash Art, New Maokai Spell Icons, Mana Regen Nerfs for Supports

[ 07/11 ] Nerfs to Gnar, Katarina and Rammus, Buffs to Sona, Texture Rebalances for Riven and Jax, Preseason Tweaks, New Summoner Icons

[ 05/11 ] Kalista, Battlecast Alpha Skarner (Legendary), Battlecast Kog’Maw, Pickpocket Twitch, Captain Volibear, Safecracker Evelynn, Constable Trundle, Balance Changes, Texture Rebalances and More

 

Kalista’s in-game icon got updated.

 

Old

Kalista_Square_0_old

 

New

Kalista_Square_0

 

Champion Changes

 

 

Fiora Final Portrait

 

Blade Waltz New IconBlade Waltz [ R ]

  • Base damage decreased from 160/330/500 to 125/255/385
  • Consecutive hits on the same target increased from 25% to 40% of initial damage

 

[ Note ] The new damage of Blade Waltz to targets already hit by it once has been increased from 40/82.5/125 (+0.3 bonus AD) to 50/102/154 (+0.48 bonus AD). Maximum single-target damage has been increased from 320/600/1000 (+2.4 bonus AD) to 375/765/1155 (+3.6 bonus AD).

 

 

Kalista Final Portrait

  • Base damage decreased from 55 to 53

 

Rend New IconRend [ E ]

  • Slow strength increased from 20/25/30/35/40% to 25/30/35/40/45%
  • Base damage decreased from 20/35/50/65/80 to 20/30/40/50/60
  • Bonus damage-per-spear decreased 25/31.25/37.5/43.75/50% to 25/30/35/40/45%

 

 

Item Changes

 

Hunter's Machete New IconHunter’s Machete

Health gain for each second of fighting jungle monsters decreased from 8 to 7

 

[ Note ] All of Hunter’s Machete upgrades now grant 10 Health per second when in the jungle, decreased from 12. I’ll update my preseason guide with the new values.

 

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

Dev Blog: Optimizing the Rift

November 11th, 2014

 

Dev Blog Optimizing The Rift Banner

 

Learn how the new Summoner’s Rift will improve performance in the latest dev blog.

 

When we first sat down to plan out our priorities for updating the Rift, we knew performance would necessarily be one of our primary challenges. After all, what good is a spiffy update if your toaster explodes during loading? With that in mind, we set a goal of ensuring that the update to Summoner’s Rift performs at least as well as current SR on every player’s machine. We’ve continued to work on optimization since announcing the update, and want to take some time now to discuss the latest details with you.

 

Engineering Art

Usually, when players think about how a game performs on their rig, they mostly look at the game’s tech. In reality, performance involves tight collaboration between artists and engineers, aimed at finding ways to implement art in an efficient fashion. When it comes to the update to Summoner’s Rift, our engineers have worked to provide the artists with the tools and information they need to create a landscape that can be both visually appealing and high-performing.

The art team’s goal of increasing visual fidelity while maintaining performance parity with pre-update SR meant they needed a minimal set of highly-optimized features that would then allow them to create a hand-painted map. Essentially, this meant the engineering team needed to build a new, high performance renderer from scratch.

Broadly, a renderer is responsible for placing game geometry onto your screen, and the new renderer for SR simplifies the process in ways that lead to higher performance, especially on older video cards. Additionally, it allows us to more finely tune the specifics of how a particular machine’s video card renders the environment, and tuning = speed = performance. Finally, the renderer gives us greater control over the map’s texture formats, allowing us to reduce video memory usage.

 

Less is More

Beyond engineering optimization, our artists also sought creative ways to save on performance. One of the early things we looked at was “polygon count,” especially that of of jungle creatures. We know most of you know this, but as a reminder, a polygon is a series of points in space that join together to create a surface.

In particular, we look at triangles, the simplest polygons. Multiple triangles are often used to create complex surfaces in games, and the number of them on screen is a good indicator of how much work your video card has to do. In particular, lower-spec machines are heavily impacted as triangle counts rise. We’ve made a conscious effort to cut down on triangles (and polygons in general) while designing the update, which has provided substantial savings on performance.

TriCount1_thumb
TriCount3_thumb TriCount2_thumb

Bone1_thumb We also looked at “bone count.” Think of “bones” like joints in a skeleton, in that they influence things around them when they move or rotate. In the case of computer graphics, a bone allows for articulation (or animation) of geometry around it, so a jungle monster might have bones placed at various points in order to help animate its movement or attacks. As you’d expect, fewer bones = better performance, so we built the update with an eye towards minimizing bones in the environment’s moving elements.


Bone2_thumbThese two improvements actually contributed to yet another opportunity for performance optimization. We noticed that map elements like towers and minions were pretty inefficient when “deforming” (i.e. moving their polygons in response to bone movement), with far more bone-polygon connections than would be necessary using the update’s new architecture. The bone and polygon trimming we mentioned earlier led naturally into slashing the number of bones connected to individual polygons, allowing for significant performance savings on what tends to be a performance-intensive process.

 

 

 

 

Smaller than the Sum of its Parts

Another major step we took to address performance involved implementing a process called “Atlassing.” This process combines “texturing” (painting a model’s skin) with “UV mapping” (projecting the texture on to the 3D model) in a way that optimizes a bit better for performance.

A model’s UV space determines how it reads the texture and what parts of the texture will show up on what surface. Normally there’s excess space between the UVs, and a model and its texture will look something like this:

TriCount1_thumb

Atlassing combines multiple textures into one larger texture that we can then compress or expand depending on the level of detail we want, which is invaluable when it comes to conserving precious memory usage on textures. For instance, instead of loading five 1024×1024 textures, we can use just one 2048×2048 texture and save a bit on performance.

 

All the Little Things Too

Hopefully we’ve been able to provide some insight into some of the stuff that’ll be going on under the hood once the Rift’s new look hits live. What we’ve covered above definitely isn’t an exhaustive list of our performance-related efforts – from character inking changes, fog of war improvements, nav-mesh streamlining to general bug fixing – we’ve been vigilant for any opportunity to optimize. From the outset, toaster compatibility has been one of our top goals with the update, and it’s something we’ll continue to keep an eye on and fine tune as we move towards open beta and beyond.



If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.


 

Dev Blog Visual Hierarchy Banner

The latest dev blog draws a neat comparison between the old Summoner’s Rift and the new and how the updated art assists gameplay.

 

Working on the reimagined art style of Summoner’s Rift has been a rewarding, but not small, undertaking – we want to deliver a unique, timeless art style that remains relatable years after its creation. Our goal is to create a style independent of a particular time or place that retains the “inviting, magic-infused forest” vibe of Summoner’s Rift. This means improving the style, cohesion & fidelity of the art while not being held back by technological constraints. Finally, the various aspects of this art style must all be aimed at clarifying gameplay in order to truly give players a more meaningful and immersive experience while playing League.


Timeless Style

Timeless art has to have a uniquely recognizable style all its own, but must also be anchored in reality to be relatable. With that challenge in mind, we drew inspiration from our favorite games, works of art, and animated films in order to come up with the hand-painted, yet graphic style we developed while working on Summoner’s Rift.

image

We applied these inspirations to Summoner’s Rift in a variety of ways. Whimsical trees juxtaposed with more aggressive and stylized rocks; high contrast with soft, welcoming foliage and flowers abutted by sharp and cracked geological shapes. This pairing is key to the map’s shape language and extends similarly to the creatures living on the Rift, with a carefully balanced proportion of elements inspired from both reality and imagination. These dichotomies, along with the proportions, shape conventions, hues and values of the updated Rift all come together to create the “uniquely LoL” aesthetic we’ve been shooting for.

 

Thematic Cohesion

ThematicCohesion

Creating a cohesive theme on the Rift requires all its art to refer back to a singular vision built through story, concept art, and real world reference. This creates consistency among the different elements within the environment and ensures that the things you see in game while playing actually belong together, establishing a more believable and immersive world. Even the scale of buildings and foliage has been addressed. We’re working to create a world where the various elements of the landscape all feel right at home next to champions’ style, scale and overall look.

One of the main things we have to consider is that Summoner’s Rift is the canvas on which all of our champions must sit. The champion pool holds a broad spectrum of styles – from the whimsical nature of Teemo or Lulu, to the darker aggression of Nocturne or Zed. In order to ensure champions fit into the world, we have to blend the painterly baseline of the environment and monsters with more graphic elements that relate to the art of even the grittiest champions. This spectrum (from painted to graphic) is something we’ll continue to refine as we iterate on SR and League’s overall art style.

 

Increasing Clarity

Increasing gameplay clarity is a primary focus when it comes to updating Summoner’s Rift. Clarity, for art, means creating art that minimizes visual clutter.

PanthOldSR PanthSRU

Quite simply, in every second of a game of League, we’re communicating a ton of information. So when we talk about working to improve clarity, we’re talking about improving the accuracy and usefulness of all of this information and enabling players to more easily digest what’s going on during gameplay.

This means simplifying shapes and values to make for easy visual reads no matter where you are on the map or what you’re looking at. The map should always relate to the champions, but it also needs to sit behind and frame them clearly as players run around shooting off abilities in groups of up to 10 at a time.

ClarityFlow

Another concept we keep in mind when pursuing clarity is “flow” – essentially, the art should be a soft visual indicator that subtlety suggests the path. It should clarify game space, not clutter it. Applying visual design elements to make for readable paths should help players in understanding exactly where they are and where they’re going while navigating the Rift.

 

Visual Hierarchy

We also try to bring more clarity to players by looking at the overall map in layers, as a hierarchy of visual elements, which ties together a lot of the things we’ve discussed above. The images below take a look at this hierarchy, with the accompanying graphs displaying value saturation constraints for each layer.

VisualHierarchy1-wt

First is the background which sits behind everything else and serves as a canvas for other elements.

VisualHierarchy2-wt

On top of that are the characters, which are second in contrast and visibility so that they stand out from the background. Players need to always be able to clearly understand exactly where their champion (and others) are on the map.

VisualHierarchy3-wt

Visual Effects come third, so that in the middle of a busy team fight you can clearly see when a Kog-Maw’s lobbing artillery at you or the Sion train is barreling your way.

VisualHierarchy4-wt

Finally, the User Interface sits atop everything and is the easiest element to see. Although it sits on the top layer, it’s slim and small as possible to avoid obscuring gameplay.

 

Invisible Technology

Last but not least among our goals is creating an art style without visible technology – things like hard polygon edges or crunchy, overly realistic textures. Thinking back to our favorite games from 5 or 10 years ago, most were using various forms of art technology that look almost archaic to us now. While we loved the vibe of these games, it’s clear when looking back at the art that technology was often a limitation. Few games and movies successfully break this boundary, but it’s something we really aspire to with the Rift’s updated art style.

Some big wins we get from building this way include a fully cohesive look and a unified, painted style across the entire map. We’ve limited ourselves to polygon budgets that would typically create very low-end looking, hard edges; however, the new art uses a technique in which painted elements define edges and hide the tech. Take a look at the evidence in the screenshot of the Golem pit comparison below:

InvisTech1 InvisTech2

The old map uses visible tech – polygon edges stick out and date the visuals. The new version shows how we’re choosing what edges we like and using alpha-blending and hand-painted geometry to achieve the desired look. This technique can also be done on much “cheaper” geometry for video cards to render, allowing us to improve other map elements like visual effects or animated parts of the environment.

 

Looking Ahead

That’s it on the art for now! Looking ahead to open beta and beyond, we intend to continue adding polish to the updated map and eventually bring the artistic style of League of Legends to other parts of the game. Thanks, and we’ll see you on the Rift!



If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.


 

PBE 10 11 Banner

 

PBE 10/11 Content

 

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

[ Note ] The Preseason changes are up on the PBE. They’ll be live with Patch 4.20.

 

All PBE Updates from Patch 4.20 Cycle:

[ 07/11 ] Maokai Visual Update (Unavailable), Updated Graves Splash Art, New Maokai Spell Icons, Mana Regen Nerfs for Supports

[ 07/11 ] Nerfs to Gnar, Katarina and Rammus, Buffs to Sona, Texture Rebalances for Riven and Jax, Preseason Tweaks, New Summoner Icons

[ 05/11 ] Kalista, Battlecast Alpha Skarner (Legendary), Battlecast Kog’Maw, Pickpocket Twitch, Captain Volibear, Safecracker Evelynn, Constable Trundle, Balance Changes, Texture Rebalances and More

 

 

Maokai Visual Update

Ququroon Final PortraitBranching out to the PBE is Maokai, the Twisted Treant!

Having gone through a growth spurt, Maokai now looks and feels more like the character he was meant to be. With an updated model and texture set, crisp new visual effects, new sounds to crush your enemies with and more, this plant come to life now feels more alive than ever. As usual, all of the above affects his skins as well.

One of the other major goals on this project was to increase visual clarity for Maokai, his allies and his enemies. His ultimate is massively powerful, but was it ever really the most noticeable? Did his snare ever really feel as effective as it actually is? Could his saplings be even more awesome? We pushed these a bit, so hopefully you’ll be able to feel the effects!

We’d really appreciate it if you’d take a look at Maokai, and hit us with any bugs and feedback that come your way. Your feedback helps to guide changes we can make, as well as helps us grow as a team.

Between the update to Summoner’s Rift and now this, it certainly is a great time for our trees.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Classic Maokai

Classic Maokai 1

Classic Maokai 2

 

Maokai Q

Maokai Q 2

Arcane Smash [ Q ]

 

Maokai W

Maokai W 2

Twisted Advance [ W ]

 

Maokai E

Maokai E 2

Sapling Toss [ E ]

 

Maokai R

Maokai R 2

Maokai R 3

Vengeful Maelstrom [ R ]

 

Charred Maokai

Charred Maokai 1

Charred Maokai 2

 

Totemic Maokai

Totemic Maokai 1

Totemic Maokai 2

 

Haunted Maokai

Haunted Maokai 1

Haunted Maokai 2

 

Festive Maokai

Festive Maokai 2

Festive Maokai 2

 

 

Updated Maokai Lore

Maokai has received heaps of new lore and his old lore has been replaced.

 

Maokai was once a peaceful nature spirit dwelling in an idyllic forest, but the arrogance of humans brought an end to that life. Now he is a gnarled shadow of his former self, twisted by dark magics that defied the natural order of life and death. Infused with power he never asked for, the mighty treant has become a vengeful force of nature, sundering his enemies with wild magic and iron-hard limbs as he searches Valoran for the means to restore the Shadow Isles to its former glory.

Before the Shadow Isles became a land of death,the islands teemed with natural life and beauty.This was never truer than in the isles’ sacred forest: a paradise of thriving trees and countless species, both animal and spirit alike. When the king of the Shadow Islesordered his sorcerers to crack open the barrier separating life and death, the forest served as a well of power the magi drank deeply from.

The sorcerers’ ritual succeeded in corrupting the cycle of life and unleashing forces they could not hope to contain.Vitality seeped from every living thing in the Shadow Isles: great trees withered into gnarled husks, people warped into twisted shades, and forest spirits became hollow wisps. Maokai, the strongest spirit of the sacred forest, watched in horror as his world crumbled and died around him. He fought to mend the wound in the world, but could not halt the destruction wrought by human folly. As the ghastly energies sought to overwhelm the great spirit, he made one last desperate attempt to preserve the life of the land. Maokai inhabited the ancient oak at the heart of the forest’s spiritual power. There he gathered the essence of the isles into the tree as the corruption of undeath clawed hungrily at anything within reach. Fortified by boundless magic, Maokai could not be consumed entirely,though the spirit was not left unscathed.

Maokai, now saturated with the essences of life and death, became fused with the ancient oak and contorted into an abomination. Forages, pain and grief were the only companions the spirit had. His boughs grew heavy as he wept at the desolation of everything he had known and loved, and his roots tore from the earth as he raged at the reckless sorcerers that had ruined his home. But all was not lost.Maokai had preserved the last vital spark remaining in the Shadow Isles, and with it, the hope of returning life to the land.

Like moths to a flame, the tormented shades ofthe Shadow Isles were drawn to the living essence within Maokai. The spirit guarded theseed of life from the relentless undead, but Maokai knew he could not fend them off forever. He needed to escape the land of death his home had become, so he cast himself into the sea and trusted in nature to guide him towards a living land. There he hoped to find the means to cast out the forces of undeath and restore life to the Shadow Isles.

Maokai – ”To defy the natural order has consequences.”

 

 

Champion Changes

 

Evelynn Final Portrait

  • Base Armor increased from 27 to 30

 

 

Gnar Final Portrait

 

Boomerang Throw New IconBoomerang Throw [ Q ]

  • Total AD Ratio decreased from 1.25 to 1.2

 

 

Preseason Items

 

All upgrades of Hunter’s Machete now grant 5 Mana-per-second while fighting jungle monsters, increased from 4.

 

Elixir of Sorcery New IconElixir of Sorcery

Bonus true damage on-hit decreased from 40 to 25

 

[ Note ] If you want a rundown of preseason changes, I’ve written a guide that covers all of them. I’ll make sure to keep it up-to-date with PBE updates.

Preseason-for-Dummies-Banner (1)

 

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

 

Preseason for Dummies Banner

 

To help you be ready for Preseason, I’ve written a guide that covers every change it will include. Enjoy!

[ Note ] I’ll be keeping this guide up-to-date with all PBE changes that come before the next patch. Last updated on: November 15th.

 

Table of Contents Minibanner

Jungle Items

Jungle Camps

Jungle Strategy
Objectives

Other Items

In-game Icons

Additional Resources

 

 

Jungle Items Banner

Jungling again begins with Hunter’s Machete, which has been slightly altered.

 

Hunter's Machete New IconHunter’s Machete

Passive – Jungler: Deal 30 magic damage on hit to monsters over 2 seconds and gain 7 Health and 3 Mana per second while in combat with monsters.

 

First and foremost, all of Hunter’s Machete’s upgrades have been replaced. This means no more Feral Flare and Spirit Items. There are 4 new items that build out of Hunter’s Machete and each can be enchanted with one of four enchantments. More on that in a bit.

 Hunter’s Machete now costs 400 Gold, which means you can only get 2 Health pots initially. This is noticeable, but since sustain is now tied to Hunter’s Machete, including mana sustain, you can still get both buffs and have enough health to gank at level 3.

Smite’s cooldown is now 60 seconds, increased from 40. This is important, because Smite can now serve a lot more uses.

 

You can upgrade your Hunter’s Machete into four different items, much like you could previously upgrade it into Spirit Stone or Madred’s Razor (both of these items and their upgrades have been removed)

The upgrades will increase the passive on Hunter’s Machete to 45 magic damage over 2 seconds and the sustain to 10 HP and 5 Mana per second while fighting jungle monsters. They’ll also upgrade your Smite; this defines your role in the jungle:

 

Jungle Items

 

 

Each of these items serves a very specific purpose, depending on how you want to influence the game as a jungler. Note, I use “counterjungling” as a term for stealing the enemy’s jungle camps and “invading” as looking to kill the enemy jungler.

Right, here are the Smite upgrades:

 

Poacher's Knife New IconPoacher’s Knife

Passive – Scavenging Smite: When you Smite and kill a large monster in the enemy jungle, the cooldown of Smite is halved, you gain +20 bonus Gold and you gain 175% increased Movement Speed decaying over 2 seconds.


Stalker's Blade New IconStalker’s Blade

Passive – Chilling Smite: Smite can be cast on enemy champions, dealing 10% of Smite’s current damage as true damage to them and reducing their movement speed by 50% for 2 seconds.

 

Skirmisher's Sabre New IconSkirmisher’s Sabre

Passive – Challenging Smite: Smite can be cast on enemy champions, marking them for 6 seconds. While marked, you deal bonus true damage to them on hit, equal to 6.25% of your Smite’s current damage, have vision of them, and reduce their damage to you by 20%.

 

Ranger's Trailblazer New IconRanger’s Trailblazer

Passive – Blasting Smite: The cooldown of Smite is reduced by 15 seconds. Smite also deals half damage to all monsters and enemy minions near the target and stuns them for 1.5 seconds. Casting Smite on a monster restores 15% of missing Health and Mana.

 

Let’s see what each of these items will help you do and when you should buy them.

 

 

Poachers Knife

Get Poacher’s Knife if:

  • You’ll spend most of your time denying the enemy jungle
  • You want to counterjungle the enemy’s large monsters and buffs;
  • You’ll be counterjungling, but you have no escape on your champion.

This will be your go-to counterjungle item. Poacher’s Knife is a great pick-up on all classic counter-junglers like Nunu,  Shaco, Lee Sin and others.

Poachers Knife Effect

  The halved CD on Smite and the massive movement speed burst helps you move between enemy camps and clear them faster than with any other item.  It’s the best upgrade you can get if you want to deny the enemy’s buffs and large monsters. The movement speed allows you to clear out quickly and with a 30 second cooldown on Smite, you can run circles in the enemy’s jungle.

 Note that you don’t have to Smite for the killing blow. If you Smite early, you’ll still get the MS buff when you’re done with the large monster. The reduced cooldown on Smite will take into account the time it took you to kill the monster after you’d Smited it.

 

 

Stalkers Blade

Get Stalker’s Blade if:

  • You’ll be ganking early on, but you don’t have a reliable gap-closer;
  • You want to be securing kills after the enemy has burned Flash, in the same gank;
  • You’re invading with a strong early jungler and you need to prevent the enemy running away;
  • You’ll be engaging teamfights and/or sticking to priority targets.

 Stalker’s Blade gives both a slow and a minor nuke. As such, its best use is during ganks. You can clear both buffs, one standard camp, recall, buy Stalker’s Blade and start ganking. A 50% slow will be enough to force a Flash most of the time. It allows champions who normally need level 6, like Vi, Warwick, Nocturne, Rengar, etc., to pull off ganks much earlier in the game. Because Smite has 760 cast range, it’s very easy to slow someone with Stalker’s Blade. It allows these champions to line up their gap-closers; for example, you can charge Vault Breaker with Vi, Smite during your channel and prevent any jukes or at least force a Flash.

 The item also works on champions who are already strong gankers early. If you buy it on, for example, Elise, Jarvan IV, Kha’Zix or Lee Sin, you can engage without it and wait for the enemy to blow Flash. Then you Smite them to catch up.

Slow Smite Screen

  For jungle invades, Stalker’s Blade gives you more CC to stick to the enemy jungler. It’s, again, great on duelists like Elise and Lee Sin, but also on Champions who can 1v1, but can’t stick to targets well, like Shaco, Udyr, Wukong and Pantheon.

 

 

Skirmisher’s Sabre

Get Skirmisher’s Sabre if:

  • You have a reliable gap closer and you want to do more damage when ganking;
  • You’ll be counterjungling a lot and you need extra dueling power;
  • Your champion has an Attack Speed buff and can chase down squishy targets.

Skirmisher’s Sabre is designed for, well… skirmishes. It offers you everything you need to come out on top in 1v1s: damage reduction, bonus true damage and vision.

Skirmisher Saber Ingame Vision

Get Skirmisher’s Sabre on champions who either have Attack Speed on their kit or benefit from Attack Speed items, like Udyr, Shyvana, Nocturne, Xin Zhao, Master Yi, etc. Since you’ll be Smiting mostly champions, you need a jungler who can farm quick without Smite and can also duel quite early.

 Skirmisher’s Sabre scales very well into late game. For 6 seconds you’re getting a 20% damage reduction against a target, which will most likely be the enemy Marksman. You’ll eventually be doing 63 true damage on-hit, which is also huge. If you can reliably stick to a target without needing Stalker’s Blade and you don’t need Smite for the jungle, then this is your best option.

 

 

Ranger’s Trailblazer

Get Ranger’s Trailblazer if:

  • Your champion can’t deal with the damage of jungle monsters;
  • You need a lot of mana to keep farming;
  • You don’t have the AoE damage to quickly clear camps;
  • You need level 6 as fast as possible to start ganking;
  • You’ll be helping tower pushes around the map;
  • You’re counterjungling with a safe champion and you want to clear the enemy’s camps faster.

 The two benefits of Ranger’s Trailblazer are sustain and quick clear speed. If you cannot sustain yourself in the jungle, this will be your only option. Ranger’s Trailblazer provides similar sustain as a Spirit of the Spectral Wraith, so you’ll never have to recall back for health if you’re using it to farm your jungle. It also stuns monsters, which is extra time before you start receiving damage.

 It’s a great pick-up on all champions who love to counterjungle and can get out quickly. A few examples would be Nunu, Elise, Shaco, Hecarim and Kha’Zix. These five also benefit from the mana restore on Ranger’s Trailblazer and can clear extremely fast with the 25% Cooldown Reduction on Smite.

Elise Ranger Traiblazer Counterjungle

 As Elise, for example, you can Rappel over the Raptors’ wall and instantly kill the whole camp with Human W, Blasting Smite and a Spider Q. If you want to stick to your jungle as, say, Warwick, then Ranger’s Trailblazer guarantees you can get to level 6 at the same pace as your top or mid laner.

 Tank junglers like Nautilus, Maokai, Sejuani and Amumu will love this item, both for its sustain and for the AoE Smite. Because Ranger’s Trailblazer does the highest damage to camps of all upgrades, it’s excellent on all junglers with slow clear speed.

 A side bonus of Ranger’s Trailblazer is the AoE Smite helps immensely with pushing towers. You can tank the enemy’s wave so the minions clump around you for a Smite. Note that the stun only works on minions and monsters;  if there’s an enemy champion near the wave you’re Smiting, he won’t be stunned.

 Lastly, you can get this item if you just want to have fun with a champion who normally can’t jungle. You won’t die in the jungle with a Ranger’s Trailblazer and you’ll maintain a decent clear speed, even if you’re jungling Ashe (you evil sod).

 A funny note, you can use Ranger’s Traiblazer to instantly kill all of Zac‘s blobs from his passive.

 

 

Jungle Item Enchantments

 Enchantments are very simple. They work the same with jungle items as they do with boots and pretty much give you late-game stats so you don’t end up with a lackluster jungle item wasting a slot. Let’s look through them:

Enchantments Graphic

 

All of them cost 2250 Gold. Here are the stats for each one individually:

 

Alacrity_item (1) Enchantment : Devourer

+ 50% Attack Speed

+40 Magic Damage on Hit

Passive – Devouring: Killing large monsters increases the magic damage of this item by +1. Champion kills or assists increases the magic damage of this item by +2.

 

Homeguard_item (1)Enchantment: Warrior

+ 45 Attack Damage

+ 10% Cooldown Reduction

+10 Armor Penetration

 

Captain_item (1)  Enchantment: Magus

+ 80 Ability Power

+20% Cooldown Reduction

 

Distortion_item (1)Enchantment: Juggernaut

+500 Health

+10% Cooldown Reduction

Unique Passive – Tenacity: Reduces the duration of stuns, slows, taunts, fears, silences, blinds, polymorphs and immobilizes by 35%.

 

Farming junglers would want to combine a Hunter’s Machete upgrade with, say, the Devourer enchantment. Tanks would want the Juggernaut enchantment to complement a Ranger’s Trailblazer and so on.

 The great thing here is these stats are separated from the Hunter’s Machete upgrades. So you pick whichever upgrade suits your playstyle, regardless of champion, and then you add to that item the stats your champion needs.

 I’ll show you an example. Here’s a finished jungle item. I got the Hunter’s Machete, upgraded it to a Skirmisher’s Sabre and then enchanted it with Devourer. You can see the end result below.

Example of Finished Jungle Item

 

 

Jungle Camps Banner

The main change to jungle camps is they each grant a different buff when Smited. Note that you don’t have to kill the camp to gain the buff, you only have to Smite the big monster in each camp.

 

 


The Murkwolves


Murkwolves replace the Wolves camp on the old map.

 

 

When you Smite the big Murkwolf, a green wolf spirit will leave him and head towards the blue buff area. The spirit lasts 90 seconds, as indicated above it. It provides vision around it and is invulnerable. If left alone, it will simply sit on the intersection between the blue buff and the Murkwolves camp.

 

Here is where the spirit stands when no one on the enemy team is around, right next to blue buff.

Wolf Camp Visuals

 

If an enemy Champion comes close, however, it will turn back into a wolf and chase them around the general area.

Wolf Spirit Chasing 2

Wolf Spirit Chasing 1

 Smiting the Murkwolf camp has two uses. First is protecting your own jungle. If you’re playing a jungler with a weak early game and you’re afraid someone will invade you while you’re doing blue, Smite the big Murkwolf and you get an invulnerable ward in the area. The spirit is great when not startled, since it covers the most common entrance to the blue buff area.

 Second is getting information when counterjungling. If you steal the enemy’s Murkwolves camp with Smite, you’ll know when the enemy jungler passes through the area. This alerts your laners where he is and it also lets you to counterjungle on the other side. Since the wolf is visible, it’s unlikely the enemy jungler will stick around, meaning he’ll likely give up on the Gromp camp or, even better, the blue buff.

 

The Krugs

The Krugs replace the Golem camp on the old map.

 

 

When you Smite the big Krug, you’ll get a buff that stuns jungle monsters every first and fifth attack. You can also end the duration by auto attacking an enemy tower, which will deal bonus true damage to it. Note that you’ll lose your buff that way.

Krug-Camp-Visuals2

Krug Camp Stun Effect

There’s really only one use for this buff: farm jungle monsters with it. If you’re struggling in the jungle, this is a good buff to pick up since monsters will be dealing less damage to you. Otherwise, avoid smiting Krugs.

 

 

Gromp

Gromp replaces the Wight camp on the old map.

 

 

Smiting the Gromp makes enemies who attack you take poison damage over-time. 

Gromp Poison Buff

 Another jungle buff with a very singular purpose: farm jungle monsters. The damage isn’t noticeable enough to work in duels with enemy champions and it’s not worth tanking an enemy’s minion wave just for the poison damage. It’s efficient on low-damage junglers like Sejuani, Amumu and Maokai who want to clear camps quicker, but those champions are usually focused on ganks and would prefer to Smite the Raptors camp.

 The Gromp camp is a double-edged sword. Because it has a lot of health and deals a lot of damage, a good incentive is to Smite it, but doing so grants the weakest buff of all camps. So pick your poison! Literally.

 



The Raptors


Raptors replace the Wraith camp on the old map.

 

 

Smite the big Raptor and you’ll get a warning the next time a ward spots you. You’ll also gain vision of that ward (will not detect stealth champions).

Raptor Camp Buff 1

Raptor Camp Buff 2

Getting the Raptor buff will be pretty much a pre-requisite for any gank. You get to clear a ward for free while your Sweeper Lens is on cooldown, which doubles your ward-clearing. The buff also works if you’re playing against an aggressive jungler and you need to know if your jungle has been warded.

Mids love taking the Raptors, which will most likely create quite a few quarrels between them and jungler, since the buff is really important for ganks.

 

Blue and Red Buff

 

Blue and Red buff have received minor tweaks. When you Smite the Red Brambleback (Red Lizard), you gain a bunch of health back. Respectively, when you Smite the Blue Sentinel (Blue Buff), you gain mana back. The Red buff, in addition to the on-hit slow and burn, also grants increased health regeneration.

Red Buff Heal

Blue Buff Mana Restore

 

 

Jungle Strategy Banner

And now let’s put everything together.

 

 

I want to clear my jungle quickly

 After you’ve done your initial clear, you’ll be getting Ranger’s Trailblazer. If you’re confident no one will try to stop you farming, Smite either the Krugs if you’re having difficulty in the jungle or Gromp if you just want to add more damage to your clear speed. If you fear your jungle has been warded, make sure you Smite the Raptors consistently or Smite the Murkwolves to get vision of your blue buff area.

 If you’re focused on farming the jungle, get the Devourer enchantment. Otherwise, get whichever enchantment works for your champion.

 

Ill be focused on counterjungling

 Get either Poacher’s Knife if you’re going to be stealing Blue, Red buff and large monsters consistently or Ranger’s Trailblazer if you just want to be clearing entire camps quickly. Smite the Murkwolves primarily to keep track of the enemy jungle, with the Raptors being second priority if you feel your counterjungling is getting risky.

Since successful counterjungling means you’ve denied the enemy jungler, you should establish control of the river. Kill the Scuttle Crab on Dragon’s side every time it’s up.

 

Ill be trying to kill the enemy jungler

 Upgrade Hunter’s Machete to a Stalker’s Blade if you know the enemy will try to avoid you in the jungle or Skirmisher’s Blade if you can easily stick to your target. Smite The Raptors to make sure you’re not walking over wards on your way and the Murkwolves to, again, keep track of the enemy jungler.

 

Ill be ganking all the time

 Get Stalker’s Blade, as it will consistently be getting you burned Flashes or kills. Always Smite The Raptors so you can clear lane wards. If you can close the gap and you just need more damage, consider Skirmisher’s Sabre, but it’ll most often be inferior to Stalker’s Blade.

 

My life is mostly Feral Flare

 Get Skirmisher’s Sabre if you want to scale even harder into late game or Ranger’s Trailblazer if you want to be done with your build quicker. Smite The Gromp for faster clear speed or The Murkwolves / The Raptors if you don’t feel safe farming non-stop. Get Devourer’s enchantment in the end and you have basically recreated Feral Flare.

 

 

Objectives Banner

 

 

Scuttle Crab

 

You’ll find these along both sides of the river.

Scuttle Crab 1

Scuttle Crab 2

 

 Scuttle Crabs are harmless and will only run away from you and occasionally teleport when they reach the end of their patrol route. When you kill them, they bury under the river and come out next to either the Dragon or Baron pits, creating speed shrines that last 90 seconds.

Scuttle Crab Vision 1

Scuttle Crab Vision 2

 

 Obviously, these grant speed to allies who pass through them. The buff is constantly refreshed while inside and wears off after a few seconds when leaving the speed shrine. This helps roamers gank lanes quicker. It also gives your team extra mobility when the dance around Dragon starts.

Scuttle Crab MS Buff

 Most importantly, these shrines provide uncounterable vision for the team that killed a Scuttle Crab. You cannot, for example, use Sweeper Lens to clear the shrine, you can only wait for it to time out. This is huge; it gives vision of the most important objectives on the map, Dragon and Baron. In that sense, the Scuttle Crabs also become valuable objectives. If you kill one, you have control of that side of the river for 90 seconds.

 Well, if they don’t fight back then what’s the problem just killing them?

 Scuttle Crabs have a ton of HP. They take bonus damage when they’re slowed or rooted (snared). On that note, champions like Lee Sin, Xin Zhao, Nautilus, Maokai, etc., will have no problem killing the Scuttle Crabs and securing vision. Of course, bringing a Red Buff when killing them also works. If you have neither a slow nor a root, it can take you 15 seconds to take out a Scuttle Crab.

 Scuttle Crabs will respawn every 3 minutes.

 

 

Dragon

 

Instead of global gold, Dragon now grants a buff each time he’s killed. Also, he hits for AoE now; his new attack is a cone-shaped fire breath in front of him, very similar to Shyvana’s Dragon Form E.

[ x1 ] Dragon’s Might: +8% Attack Damage and Ability Power

[ x2 ] Dragon’s Dominance: +15% damage to Minions and Monsters

[ x3 ] Dragon’s Flight: +5% Movement Speed

[ x4 ] Dragon’s Wrath: +15% damage to Towers and Buildings

[ x5 ] Aspect of the Dragon: Doubles other bonuses and your attacks burn enemies for 150 true damage over 3 seconds. Lasts 180 seconds.

Dragon 5 Stacks Screen

 Note, every time you kill Dragon, he will be dealing 20% increased damage against your team and will be receiving 7% less damage. Both of these are quite relevant; when going for a level 5 buff, your team will be taking 400 damage to the face every few seconds and will also be dealing with a 28% tankier Dragon.

 The stats a team gets from killing Dragon are relevant to the stages of the game. For example, an early Dragon grants AD and AP, which is huge in laning. The next stage three stages all benefit split-pushing and team pushing. The 5th stage effectively grants your team a Baron buff on top of bonkers pushing strength. Aspect of the Dragon is actually much more important than the Baron buff.

 This is a good place to point out that if your team has a level 2 Dragon buff, they’ll be dealing 15% increased damage to Baron. If they’re at level 5, that’s 30% bonus damage.

 Oh and you get awesome-looking particles around your champion when you get the last buff.

Dragon 5 Stacks Effect

 

 

Baron

Baron buff has received a complete overhaul:

  • No longer regenerates 3% of Max HP every 5 seconds
  • No longer regenerates 1% of Max Mana every 5 seconds
  • Still grants up to 40 AP and 40 AD
  • Grants Empowered Recall, reducing your recall time from 8 seconds (7 with Mastery) to 4 seconds (3.5 with Mastery).
  • Nearby ally minions gain 90% of your Movement Speed and specific bonuses based on their type:

Melee Minions: Gain 80% damage reduction from almost all damage types
Ranged Minions: Gain increased damage and a minor increase in range.
Siege Minions: Gain massive increases to range – such that they outrange towers. Their attacks are 50% slower but are AoE and deal 4x damage to towers.
Super Minions: Gains 75% Movement Speed when nearby enemies as well as 25% Attack Speed.

 

AD and AP aside, the minion buffs are what makes the new Baron buff valuable.

Baron Buff on Minions

 

 With the Baron buff, you can approach a friendly minion wave and all your dudes will turn Duke Nukem until either you leave a certain distance or the Baron buff on you expires. The increased damage here is important, but what’s more important is that melee minions gain 80% damage reduction. This means your minion wave won’t be instantly wiped when you start pushing down a tower. Siege minions effectively become invulnerable to towers, so you can focus on protecting one and let him deal with the tower.

 The minion buff doesn’t stack. If you decide to push a single lane with your team, your minions will receive the buff only once. If you spread and start split-pushing, however, you can get more lanes buffed and shoving. This becomes especially potent when an inhibitor is down, since you’ll make Siege Minions near you extremely hard to deal with.

Baron Buff Range Off

Baron Buff Range On

 Lastly, although the range of disabling the buff is large, to buff your minions back up you need to get in quite close.

 

Towers

Towers have received several tweaks. Each Tower has a 4th passive that depends on what layer that Tower is part of.

 

Outer Towers take 30 damage less from champion basic attacks for 7 minutes. It’s the passive they’ve had since Patch 4.7 six months ago, so no changes here.

Outer Tower Preview

 

 The second layer of outer Towers have a 200 Health shield that regenerates every 30 seconds if no damage was taken in that time. While a Tower has a shield, it will grant nearby ally champions a 30 Health-per-second regenerating shield. So long as you’re standing under a Tower and you aren’t taking damage, you’ll be receiving an increasing shield every second, up to a cap of 300. If you start taking damage, the regeneration will stop.

 This makes the second ring of Towers much easier to defend. Rather than just abandoning them to defend inhibitor Towers, teams can now choose to stay under these for a sizeable shield which would prevent dives.

 Keep in mind that if you move away from the Tower, your shield will start to decay.

Inner-Turret-Shield-2

Outer Turret Layer 2

 

Inhibitor Towers and Nexus Towers fire a continuous laser instead of regular shots. This laser decreases the target’s damage and slows it continuously. This change lessens the effect of both backdoors and diving, since those Towers are now extremely strong against single targets. In a late-game scenario, a dive would mean one member is having both his damage and movement speed decreased while taking tons of damage. These Towers also clear minions faster since they’re not overkilling them with slow shots.

Nexus Towers Attack

 

 

Other Items Banner

 

 

Elixirs

These cost 400 Gold each and replace the current 250 Gold elixirs. You can only have one elixir active at any time.

 

Elixir of Wrath New IconElixir of Wrath

Level 9 required to purchase.

Click to consume: Grants +25 Attack Damage and Bloodlust for 3 minutes.

Bloodlust: Dealing physical damage to champions heals for 10% of the damage dealt. Scoring a Kill or Assist extends the duration of this flask for 30 seconds.

 

Elixir of Sorcery New IconElixir of Sorcery

Level 9 required to purchase.

Click to consume: Grants +25 Ability Power, 15 bonus Mana Regen per 5 seconds and Sorcery for 3 minutes.

Sorcery: Dealing damage to a champion or tower deals 40 bonus True Damage. This effect has a 5 second cooldown versus champions but no cooldown versus towers.

 

Elixir of Iron New IconElixir of Iron

Level 9 required to purchase.

Click to consume: Grants 25% increased Size, Slow Resistance, Tenacity and Path of Iron for 3 minutes.

Path of Iron: Moving leaves a path behind that boosts allied champion’s Movement Speed by 15%.

 

Elixir of Ruin New IconElixir of Ruin

Level 9 required to purchase.

Click to consume: Grants +250 Health, 15% bonus Damage to Towers and Siege Commander for 3 minutes.

Siege Commander: Nearby minions gain 15% bonus Damage to Towers and gain Movement speed based on champion’s movement speed.

 

All Elixirs Preview

 

Non-jungle Items

There are three new non-jungle items coming with Preseason:

 

Righteous Glory Crystaline Bracer

Raptor Cloak

 

Ohmwrecker now builds out of the Raptor Cloak mentioned above.

Ohmwrecker

 

Health-per-5 has been replaced by Base Health Regen and Mana-per-5 with Base Mana regen, respectively. This means that the regeneration on items now scales off your champion’s stats rather than it being a flat value. This affects the follow items:

  • Aegis of the Legion: +75% Base Health Regen (Legion Aura)
  • Ancient Coin: +25% Base Mana Regen
  • Archangel’s Staff: +50% Base Mana Regen
  • Ardent Censer: +50% Base Mana Regen
  • Athene’s Unholy Grail: +25% Base Mana Regen
  • Chalice of Harmony: + 50% Base Mana Regen
  • Face of the Mountain: +100% Base Health Regen
  • Forbidden Idol: +50% Base Mana Regen
  • Frost Queen’s Claim: +50% Base Mana Regen
  • Frostfang: +50% Base Mana Regen
  • Locket of the Iron Solari: +75% Base Health Regen (Legion Aura)
  • Manamune: +25% Base Mana Regen
  • Mikael’s Crucible: +100% Base Mana Regen
  • Muramana: +25% Base Mana Regen
  • Negatron Cloak: +100% Base Health Regen
  • Nomad’s Medallion: +25% Base Health Regen and +25% Base Mana Regen
  • Ravenous Hydra: +100% Base Health Regen
  • Rejuvenation Bead:+50% Base Health Regen
  • Seraph’s Embrace: +50% Base Mana Regen
  • Spectre’s Cowl: Passive gives 100% Base Health Regen
  • Spellthief’s Edge: +25% Base Mana Regen
  • Spirit Visage: +100% Base Health Regen
  • Talisman of Ascension: +75% Base Health Regen and +75% Base Mana Regen
  • Targon’s Brace: +50% Base Health Regen
  • Tear of the Goddess: 25% Base Mana Retgen
  • Tiamat: +100% Base Health Regen

 

Warmog’s Armor has received a lot of changes and is now a dedicated split-pushing item.

Warmog's Armor

 


In-game Icons

 

The three new items coming with the next patch got new icons. From left to right: Righteous Glory,Crystaline Bracer, and Raptor’s Cloak.

3800_Righteous_Glory 3801_Crystalline_Bracer 2053_Raptor_Cloak

The four upgrades of Hunter’s Machete have received their store icons. Note that the gems represent the enchantments you can put on the items. I’ve written in-depth on these items here.

Poacher’s Knife

3711_Poachers_Knife2 3711_Poachers_Knife3 3711_Poachers_Knife 3711_Poachers_Knife1 3711_Poachers_Knife4

Ranger’s Trailblazer

3713_Rangers_Trailblazer 3713_Rangers_Trailblazer2 3713_Rangers_Trailblazer1 3713_Rangers_Trailblazer4 3713_Rangers_Trailblazer3

Stalker’s Blade

3706_Stalkers_Blade 3706_Stalkers_Blade1 3706_Stalkers_Blade2 3706_Stalkers_Blade3 3706_Stalkers_Blade4

Skirmisher’s Sabre

3714_Skirmishers_Sabre 3714_Skirmishers_Sabre4 3714_Skirmishers_Sabre3 3714_Skirmishers_Sabre2 3714_Skirmishers_Sabre1

Respectively, the upgraded Smite you get from these items also has a new icon for each variation.

Smite_Blue Smite_Purple Smite_Red Smite_Silver

The four new elixirs have also received new icons. From left to right: Elixir of Sorcery, Wrath, Ruin andIron.

2139_Elixir_of_Sorcery 2140_Elixir_of_Wrath 2137_ElixirOfRuin 2138_Elixir_of_Iron

The Empowered Recall from the new Baron buff also has an updated icon.

Baron_Recall

And so does this little guy, the Scuttle Crab! He lives in the river and doesn’t afraid of anyone.

Crab_Square_0

Lastly, the stacking Dragon buff has new icons as well. The first one is for stacks one through four, the second one is for the fifth stack.

Dragonbuff_Stack Dragonbuff_Final

 

 

Additional Resources

 

If you’d like to read more on the Preseason changes, check out the four recently-released dev blogs

Forging-a-Diverse-Armory-Banner (1)

Dev-Blog-Preseason-A-New-Jungle-banner

Preseason-2015-Increasing-Strategic-Diversity-Banner

Preseason-2015-Diversifying-Objectives-Banner

 

the recent Q&As on Preseason and the updated map…

New-Rift-QA-Banner (1)

Preseason-QA-Banner

 

as well as the preview of the New Summoner’s Rift.

Welcome-to-the-Updated-Summoner-Rift-Banner (1)

 

I hope this guide helps you get ready for all the changes coming next patch. Ask me any questions about Preseason below and I’ll be happy to answer.

 

Wait…

Yasuo Drinking Joke Dont Kill me

Is Yasuo… drinking? Riot please fix.

 

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

 

News 08 11 Banner



Summary

Up on Reddit, Rioters discussed Champions who are scheduled for updates and some who are trickier and won’t be updated soon. Stashu shared progress on Cassiopeia and the balance direction the team is taking with her. Lastly, following yesterday’s discussion on the removal of Graves’s cigar, RiotSilver hopped on the forums to clarify why the change had been made.

TL;DR in featured comments below.

 

Recent News

New-Rift-QA-Banner

Dev-Blog-Champion-Updates

Player-Behavior-Lyte-Banner

 

All PBE Updates from Patch 4.20 Cycle:

[ 05/11 ] Kalista, Battlecast Alpha Skarner (Legendary), Battlecast Kog’Maw, Pickpocket Twitch, Captain Volibear, Safecracker Evelynn, Constable Trundle, Balance Changes, Texture Rebalances and More

[ 07/11 ] Nerfs to Gnar, Katarina and Rammus, Buffs to Sona, Texture Rebalances for Riven and Jax, Preseason Tweaks, New Summoner Icons

[ 07/11 ] Maokai Visual Update (Unavailable), Updated Graves Splash Art, New Maokai Spell Icons, Mana Regen Nerfs for Supports

 

 

Champion VUs Banner

This is an ongoing discussion of the recent dev blog detailing Champion Updates.

 

 

Will Evelynn receive a visual update

Ququroon Final PortraitOf course. There’s no way we’d be satisfied with what’s currently in game.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

 

Are you still planning on updating Warwick

Ququroon Final PortraitSo Warwick is a different issue. We know he has a lot of jank right now, and believe me we want that gone. However, Warwick is a matter of gameplay. I spoke to some of the designers about this, and this is how I understand it.

You may have seen a Warwick kit posted in the past from our favorite ZenonTheStoic, and that was good! However, we still had a few things we’re looking to solve on it. Warwick is interesting for a few reasons, because we’d want to maintain his low skill floor, while increasing the ways that he can meaningfully outplay his opponent. Currently he can mostly only outplay his opponent by either passing the lifesteal check or through his itemization.

We want to solve his gameplay problems in a meaningful way, and since that’s on the horizon, we don’t want to do new art assets, then have to turn around and do them again. We could do a completely different champion with work like that. We have some concepts ready and roaring for Warwick, but these things take time on all sides.

[ Link to Post ]

 

Zenonthestoic Final PortraitYup, that’s pretty much it. When I made my changes early this year, Champ Up was a fledgling team without a clear understanding of what the scope for champion updates can be. My WW changes definitely addressed some of the problems, but crucially they didn’t answer the “why should I pick this guy over other similar champions” question.

 

I’m currently gearing up on whatever my next champion is going to be (the first step is figuring that out ;P). I REALLY love WW though, and I want to see a rework. I’m cautiously optimistic that some of my kit can be used; for instance I think my take on WW R was a straight up upgrade in terms of clarity, gameplay, epic moments etc. I don’t know that I’ll have the time to work on WW myself (as much as I would love to)–my primary commitment is as a champion designer who designs new champions from scratch. However rest assured that if Champion Updates starts work on Warwick I’ll contribute as much as I can.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Why isn’t Taric on the list for updates

Ququroon Final PortraitTaric is a troublesome one, like Evelynn. Trust me, there is no shortage of ideas on him, but it’s about wading through and figuring out just who our Gem Knight should be, and how to make him the best he can be.

IronStylus has been having some chats with players over on the Boards about him, so don’t think we’ve forgotten Taric, or Taric players.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

These update packages are missing improved animations

Ququroon Final PortraitWe did formerly do exclusively complete packages, but we also did less in the past. It’s a balancing act of quality vs quantity. This gives us a world where Maokai is updated though, rather than not any time soon.

We have a lot of things to get through. A looooot. We do plan accordingly on the champion though. Whereas Maokai needed less animation love, someone like Blitzcrank would need much more.

I hope you can understand. >u<

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Champions that are updated now might be neglected later

Ququroon Final PortraitAnimation isn’t neglected, but I can agree with your fear that things that receive partial updates won’t have it updated until later on. With some exceptions, we generally try to hit the worst offenders, then move on to another offender.

I’ll use Singed as an example here. Singed needs updates on his VFX, Animation and VO (though this one works a little differently). His model WAS his worst offender, and that’s no longer the case. He is now a much better character by bumping up his bottom line, but that doesn’t change the fact that he needs updates elsewhere. However, I can point to several characters that are much more offensive than Singed is on those areas. This doesn’t change the fact that Singed needs the work, it just means that we have to change our focus onto those that do.

The current pace means that we’ll keep pushing up our worst offenders, be that offense on a specific area of art, thematics or gameplay. As that bottom line increases, the ones that we hit as a partial will become the new bottom line in that area, and will be hit with it. We absolutely love shipping complete packages (really! It gives a much bigger and better impression, which leads to players enjoying all the work more as a whole), but we also want to get through everything. As we move on, we’ll continue to explore ways to address the backlog in different ways, including hitting partial work.

Also, we’ll totally hit TF’s icons at some point. They’re currently used as an example of bad icons in the game. (Though I’d want to keep that ult icon in somewhere)

(Also, because I touched on it. VO works a bit differently, because while it can be a bandwidth issue, it also requires much more exploration and diving into the character. This can cause it to take much more time, especially on characters with more beloved VO.)

[ Link to Post ]

 

Riot Xiphiase: Just wanted to jump in and add that at the heart of this is just a complicated resource allocation problem. I’m seeing a lot of “no x champion? and what about y champion?” We hear you guys and know there’s a lot of stuff to modernize. We’re reminded of that every day when we play ourselves.

The problem is that there are only so many Rioters able to work on these updates and we don’t have 30 hours in a day. We want to ensure that we’re tackling pressing issues and to the extent we can maybe address a few offenders immediately at the expense of a different larger, more comprehensive update is a tricky balance we have to manage.

At the end of the day, just because we didn’t call out a specific champion doesn’t mean we aren’t aware that they may need a little bit of love (or even a lot of love). There’s a lot to get to but we’re doing our best!

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

More on Cass Banner

[ Follow the original discussion here ]

 

 

STASHU New PortraitHey ya’ll. A little update:

Here’s what I’m happy with: Moving Q ms to a static number, though I think it might be a bit strong, having that kiting ability early on feels really good. Also, 0.4s delay seems to be just as dodgeable/hittable as we’re looking for, so that’s good too. Poison amp on E is testing well, and the mana restore being back feels pretty as well. I think I overtuned her mana numbers a bit, so I’ll probably be buffing those (reducing them).

Now, about the less pleasing stuff: I’ve heard you all loud and clear about how 1) it feels like a shackle until it’s finally lifted, and 2) stats are boring. So, been going a little deeper on that stuff. Today, I spent quite a bit of time experimenting with sexier rewards for the passive breakpoints. I’ve tried a number of things, like adding the mana refund passive into an Aspect of the Serpent breakpoint, moving the MS boost from Q into an early passive breakpoint (more specifically, Cassiopeia gains 25% ms for 3 seconds after poisoning an enemy champion), moving the poison amp on E in there, other crazier stuff like cast time shortening, subsequent E’s cost less mana (kind of liked that one), E extends poison duration, etc.

A lot of them expressed some problems that I expected individually, but I figured it’d be worth trying anyway. Generally, the “move mechanic from one part of kit into passive” method worked the best, since adding new sexy mechanics to the kit really just overloads the kit with mechanics, and that just feels bad. Unfortunately, not having access to core mechanics– mechanics that inform your combat pattern– until the x’th minute creates even more of the feeling that “this passive is a shackle, I just want my base power at the start of the game.” I think the healing on Twin Fang is a good example of a mechanic which is not core, is sufficiently attractive, and changes decision making in minor yet appreciable ways. Ultimately, the heal there is very stat-like (spell vamp), but it comes across in an interesting way. I didn’t really understand why this mechanic really seemed to fit in the passive, especially compared to the other breakpoints, but now I think I’ve got a good hold on it, which should help with brainstorming future changes.

ALSO As a general observation, all of the late game focused stuff we’ve done for the kit, though powerful, doesn’t really allow Cassiopeia to take over a game as much as we originally expected (kit limitations, as many people have brought up, like no dash/blink and unreliable CC really diminish the effectiveness of damage-oriented late game strengths more than we expected them to). Of course, she’s still pretty damn good come late game, but a little bit less so than originally projected. Accordingly, there’s even more room to bolster that early game. We still don’t want the Only-Q-All-Day-And-Win Cassiopeia lane bully back, but there’s plenty of room here to find a good place for her, especially with some of the changes we’ve made since the original update. Basically, Cassiopeia should feel comparable in strength to other mid laners, with her high, consistent, single target DPS as how she expresses her power in the late game (just like other mids have their own unique way of expressing power in the late game– Ziggs can clear waves, Syndra can 1-shot a guy, etc.).

Alright, that’s all for now.
Cheers!

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

You skewed Cassiopeias power too much towards lategame

STASHU New PortraitYeah thats what I was alluding to. We skewed her power curve way too much, which really just made her incredibly hard to succeed on early game. It’s not that we hate lane bullies, just unhealthy ones (which many of them turn out to be >.>). The real problem is when your opponent is a lane bully who can play from safety or when theres little you can do in response to their actions. Lulu top lane was a pretty good example of this, as she out ranged most of her opponents while damaging them and she could flat out stop their aggression.

When Cassiopeias Q did so much damage from a safe range and had virtually no cost to it, not even putting her at appreciable risk. There were other ways of solving her as a lane bully, but we decided to go for a directional change. Looking back, we went a little too ham, and were looking to amend that now

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Who would be your best example of a healthy lane-bully

STASHU New PortraitDraven comes to mind. In order to bully, he has to put himself in your combat range (for bot lane), he telegraphs where he is going to stand (spinning axes) thus opening himself up to counter attack, and often relies on a heavily telegraphed skill-shot as a finisher. He out damages many of his opponents, but also gives them options against himself.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Single Posts 08 11


 


 

Why Gravess cigar was removed from his splash art

[ Note ] Graves’s cigar was removed in a recent PBE update.

 

Riot Silver: Hey all,

I can give a bit of context on why the cigar was removed. Essentially, there was a significant risk of censorship or age rating problems in various regions based on the depiction of tobacco usage. This kind of thing is pretty strictly enforced in parts of the world, and in this case it became clear that we needed to remove the cigar in his splash. The relevant laws sometimes apply differently depending on content type, which is why something that might work in peripheral content like a cinematic may not work in content like splashes that are tied specifically to the core game.

I can also speak a bit as to why we wouldn’t create multiple splashes in response to this kind of issue. One of our goals moving forward with splash art, compared to how things have been done in the past, is to create content for all regions. In the past we’ve created modified or entirely different splashes based on the needs or appeal of certain regions, but this is something we’ve been working to change moving forward. Where possible, we want to stay away from sharding the game unnecessarily for different regions. It may seem like a small thing in this case, but we believe that being consistent with this artistic approach best allows for a common community and common stories for players to experience and share with each other.

-Silver

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

 

New Rift QA Banner

The Q&A on the updated Summoner’s Rift has now concluded, here are all questions answered and sorted:

 

Summoner’s Rift Q&A:

 

Here are all Rioters who took part in the Q&A:

  • Aeon - Associate Producer Manager
  • Jooballin - Associate Game Engineer
  • JxE - Technical Artist
  • ManWolfAxeBoss - Q&A Analyst
  • Nekomaru – Quality Assurance Analyst
  • RGBDeathPolygons – Senior Software Engineer
  • RiotDesertRose – Senior Environment Artist
  • Tiki – User Researcher
  • Tokkelossie – Character Artist

 

 

SR Development Banner


 

 

How long has SRU been in development

Jooballin New PortraitWe’ve been working on updating Summoner’s Rift for the last few years. We’ve gone through a lot of iterations, some of which didn’t make it out to players and there have been a few iterations that have made it out to all y’all. The updated Summoner’s Rift in its current fashion has been in full production for a little over a year.

[ Link to Post ]


What prompted the idea for the updated map

Jooballin New PortraitWe have many reasons to update Summoner’s Rift and the main reason is, like everything we do for LoL, to improve our players’ overall experience by continuous evolution. Our main focuses are increasing gameplay clarity and readability, visual fidelity, and thematic cohesion.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Whats the biggest thing you learned from the old map

ManWolf New PortraitThat is a super tough question. There are so many things we wanted to preserve and build upon from the old map. Ultimately, next to game-play, the biggest lesson from the original map was how well it balanced a sense of danger with light-heated fun and whimsy.

Personally, I really wanted to make sure we kept some of the odd little things you found when really looking around the map. For instance, we added something special in the North base shop as a nod to the old days…

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Were there any funny features you had to scrap

Tiki New PortraitVultures! Vultures sound scary and like something you wouldn’t mind beating up over and over but we ran into some issues, one of them pretty big:

Targeting

When the vultures flew around, our camera angle makes it pretty tough to target them effectively. We’d click one area, think we were targeting them, but not actually hit them which lead to some pretty poor gameplay 🙁

Ultimately R.I.P vultures and we went back to the drawing board!

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

SR Gameplay Banner


 

 

Will the update have any effect on the gameplay at all

Tiki New PortraitOne of our main goals in designing and developing the map was to maintain the same gameplay as much as possible. Basically if you’re used to the feel of Summoner’s Rift now, it should feel about the same when the update hits with a couple of exceptions that we hope are improvements:

Clarity improvements. Ideally things should look more clear in a number of ways:

  1. Stuff stands out against the background better. This should help you more easily see your champ both in and out of teamfights
  2. When particles hit is more clear: Should help with last hitting and knowing when you’re gonna get hit.
  3. Animations are more clear for our minion attacks: Should also help with last hitting
  4. Nav Mesh is more accurate: Helps you know there path ends and wall begins. Should reduce annoying fail flashes 🙂

Baron & Dragon get waaaaaaaay more epic
These guys have an important place on the map, and a visual update alone wasn’t enough to make them feel as epic and important as they are. So we made some gameplay changes to support more epic in-game encounters and go along with their new look. We’re honestly still looking at both of these creatures closely and changes could still happen to make sure they’re working well for visuals and gameplay.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

How were the camera angle and pathing improved

Nekomaru New PortraitWe actually did a bit of trickery with the camera on the updated Summoner’s Rift to make skill-shots appear more accurate and help players on red side. The camera has been zoomed out while decreasing the field-of-view on the back-end, which has the result of showing the same amount of playable space while reducing the fish-eye effect around the edges of the screen. This reduces the curvature of visual effects (Nidalee spears!) that are near the edges so that you don’t run into the situation where you get hit by something that looks like it missed as often.

The camera angle has also been raised slightly, as the current camera angle shows more above your champion than below them when playing with a locked camera. The new camera angle evens it out so that you see about the same above and below, which should help players on red side while in lane.

As for the pathing, one of our major art goals was to make sure that the visuals of the environment match what you can and cannot walk through as accurately as possible. All of the trees, rocks, and other things blocking your movement have been created with that in mind.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

If I click a wall will I walk to the wall or try to walk around it

ManWolf New PortraitWe made some slight improvements to champion pathing, but it functions identically to live.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

Has the

ManWolf New PortraitThere’s a sizeable difference in win rates between Blue and Red, and we’ve largely narrowed it down to the camera angle–specifically because our game camera displays more game space on the top half than it does on the bottom half. The camera angle change alleviates this slightly; though we cannot FIX this issue unless the camera were completely top-down.

In addition, we pulled out the camera away from the ground plane, while decreasing the field of view simultaneously. This has the effect of showing roughly the same amount of game space, but decreases the amount of fish-eye distortion at the edges. In our game, this distortion effect causes skill shots and skill indicators to appear inaccurate. Here’s a great site that demonstrates the fish-eye effect in game cameras: http://strlen.com/gfxengine/fisheyequake/compare.html

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Has jungle monster interaction been fixed

ManWolf New Portrait Leash mechanics are nearly the same as live, but some slight tweaks have been made.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

SR Upcoming features Banner

 

 

Will the shopkeepers get new VO lines

Nekomaru New PortraitVO for the shopkeepers is still something we hope to have in the future.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

ManWolf New PortraitThey will not be in for launch but it’s something we’re exploring for a possible future patch.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

Will you show where minions spawn from

ManWolf New PortraitWe’re not going to have anything in for launch, but it’s something we’re considering doing in the future.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

Will stylistically outdated Champions be updated

Tiki New PortraitYup! Lots of new visual & texture updates for champs have happened and will keep happening to make sure everything plays nice together 🙂

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

SR Art Clarity Banner


 

 

Why do turrets look the same for each side

ManWolf New PortraitPart of it was clarity (making sure there is no confusion about what a turret is and does) and part of it was art (cohesive shapes and structures for each team)

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

Considering you call the respawn points you considered adding real fountain elements to them

ManWolf New PortraitGreat question. We considered many angles while designing the bases. The big challenge with designing around the name used in NA is that we have many regions to consider. For instance, in China the inhibitors are called “crystals.” Therefore we decided to focus on creating thematically cohesive structures. That way we create something that really feels like a place in Runeterra.

That said, the north base kinda looks like a fountain. 😉

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Why are the jungle camps mirrored on both sides

Nekomaru New PortraitIt basically comes down to clarity. For a player who doesn’t know what the wolves do, having two different camps, say wolves and dingoes, would raise the question as to whether these monsters have different combat or provide different rewards. Having wolves on each side makes it easy for newer players to recognize that these camps serve the same purpose.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

What was the inspiration for the wildlife on the map

Nekomaru New PortraitWe started with the idea of Summoner’s Rift as a magical forest habitat. From there, the goal was to create jungle creatures that fit in and live in that environment while still fitting into the League of Legends world and remaining familiar to people who have been playing on the current Summoner’s Rift for years.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Shouldnt the river be flowing through the lanes

ManWolf New PortraitWe agree and this was a difficult challenge to tackle given the balance the map needed to maintain. We decided to build fountains into the islands near the center of mid lane to act as a source. With a bit of imaginative thinking we see the river as “flowing” towards the edges of the map and exiting out a cave you can see outside of bot lane. We imagine there is a similar cave in the North. To keep it simple and clear we imagine the water to have descended into an underground aqueduct. It was a tough call but we wanted to prioritize game-play over art.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

SR Technical Banner

 

 

Will older machines be able to run the updated map
Jooballin New PortraitWe’ve done a lot of testing on this, and most low spec computers should run faster on the update to Summoner’s Rift. Every computer is different, so, while this can’t actually be guaranteed, we feel comfortable saying most people will have better frame rate performance now.

[ Link to Post ]

 

RGBDeathPolygons New PortraitWill SR’s graphics be more demanding? In some ways yes, and in other ways no. You should see similar or better framerates to the current SR. We are going to be releasing a devblog in the near future that gives more information about this topic :).

When testing the update to SR, we haven’t reproduced these issues in our compatibility lab. However, there are a lot of factors that are out of our control, and there are millions of possible hardware combinations, so it’s always possible that we missed something.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Is the map easily editable

Jooballin New PortraitWhile we have definitely taken this into consideration when building the update to Summoner’s Rift, I can’t provide an answer to any specific holiday or other skins that are upcoming.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Are there brush changes on the updated map

Nekomaru New PortraitWhile we were working on the updated map, we noticed that the brush in top and bottom lane was actually slightly closer to the red side turrets than the blue side ones. That’s been addressed in the update, but bush placement in general is the same as the current map.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Will the UI be 4k screen compatible

RGBDeathPolygons New PortraitCurrently, the UI does not handle extremely large display resolutions. We recognize that 4K displays are slowly becoming more common, so we may add support for them at some point.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Will the new brush affect Rengar’s leaping range

ManWolf New PortraitAside from some minor improvements to layout, brush is identical to live.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

 

Will spawn animations for Baron

Jooballin New PortraitThe spawn animation will happen every time the creature actually spawns into the rift. To clarify, if the Dragon has been alive for a couple of minutes and you walk over to him, you won’t see the spawn animation play. However, if you are near the pit (or you have vision because you were a great teammate and placed a ward there) as the Dragon spawns in, you will see the animation play out. This is the case for every time the creatures spawn in.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

How big will the patch with the updated map be

Riot JxE Final PortraitWe’ve been patching out parts of the update for a while now, so you don’t have to worry about massive patch hitting you all at once.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

How will this update affect ranked games

Jooballin New PortraitThe update to Summoner’s Rift will be rolling out to the Team Builder queue first. We will eventually roll out to all queues, including ranked. At this point, all ranked games will be played on the new Summoner’s Rift, and the old one will be retired.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

SR Funny Extra Banner

 

 

Whats your favourite detail of the new map

Tiki New PortraitReally really love some of the small animations in the environment. Things like wind over the grass and trees go a long way to making the place feel like a living place to me 🙂

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Jooballin New PortraitI love the East jungle. It’s got this great eerie and magical feeling on which the artists really knocked it out of the park. I also love the Dragon encounter, especially when he spawns in. He really looks menacing.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Will Chris Hansen be incorporated into the map somehow

Jooballin New PortraitPlease have a seat. So, what are you doing here?

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

How many trees are on the new Rift

Nekomaru New PortraitDepends on if there’s a Maokai in the game.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

 

How do the champions arrive on Summoner’s Rift

 

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

 

 Dev Blog Champion Updates

From the Champion rework team comes a dev blog, detailing upcoming updates for Maokai, Tristana and Poppy.



BY FEARLESS

Hey guys, Seb “Fruity Sebbles” Rhee here – Product Manager on the Champion Update team but really just one of a number of Rioters dedicated to showing love to League’s oldest but still beloved champions. 2014 has been a busy year for the team (though we’re not quite done yet!), and in the wake of our most ambitious project yet, the Sion update, I’d like to chat with you about what we’ve learned this past year as well as where we’re heading with future updates.

 

What Weve Learned

We started off 2014 with a key adjustment to the team’s approach to champion updates.  Previously, we’d often pursued the gameplay, story, and art segments of updates in isolation from each other, which sometimes limited our adaptability (VUs were exclusively cosmetic, while GUs were exclusively focused on gameplay). Heimerdinger is an example of this older approach – development of the gameplay and art elements of his update were so disconnected that their releases were more than four months apart.

We decided we needed to do a better job of treating champions as cohesive packages. By updating characters like Heimerdinger in piecemeal fashion we were certainly delivering new high-quality assets into the game, but we could have potentially even better served Heimer players by delivering a single, unified update. Ultimately we want champions to be distinct, cohesive, and well-executed realizations of their various elements – which requires that art, story, and gameplay all feed into and support each other. With this new philosophy in mind, we did some experimentation in the course of this year’s projects, focused on finding new ways to both maintain a high release cadence and deliver the best possible updates.

SorakaNid_thumb

The first step was better integration of gameplay as a fully-fledged part of the team’s repertoire. Earlier gameplay updates were often limited to addressing how champions negatively affected the game, such as with pre-update Xerath, Kassadin, and Rengar. Since then, our approach has evolved from fixing gameplay problems generated by champions to taking a broad look at their overall thematic in order to guide us in implementing the best version of that character’s gameplay. Nidalee, Sona, and Soraka are examples of updates seeking to better fulfill the gameplay promises suggested by champion identities – Nidalee’s shapeshifting is now a core part of her gameplay loop, and Soraka is dishing out heals every two seconds! And we’ve found that tackling gameplay updates in this fashion still lets us solve the deep-rooted gameplay issues of previous implementations, while maintaining the feel of the original character.

AnivSkarSona_thumb

Another key development was realizing the potential for greater variety in visual updates. Back near the end of 2013, we took some texture-only passes at Rammus and Anivia while investigating new ways to quickly deliver updates to players. As non-humans with rather…polygonal looks, they were obvious candidates for some safe experimentation. To our surprise these minor updates received really high levels of positive feedback, and in 2014 we decided to try out further low-scope art updates. After Skarner’s new visuals received a similar response, we decided to next take a crack at a non-creature texture in the form of Sona, even experimenting a bit further by packaging a quick model update along with her new textures. Once again, players reported satisfaction comparable to that of previous full-scope VUs – yet more evidence of the potential for low-scope but more frequent art updates to become an important part of the update pipeline.

Finally, Sion represented a whole new level of comprehensive update. In a lot of ways Sion is the culmination of all of the changes we’ve made to the team and its approaches. Instead of over-focusing on the issues with his previous implementation, we took a hard look at what Sion should be and worked toward that goal from the ground up, across all aspects of the champion. Sion is the biggest project we’ve taken on as a team, and we hope it sets a new standard in terms of what to expect from the largest-scale updates.

Sion

Taken together, these various projects confirmed the potential for pursuing updates of varying scope. In addition to mammoth projects like Sion, we were able to fill the gaps with more focused updates and constantly deliver value. Viktor is a great example of the latter – he received efficient, relatively low-scope art and gameplay updates specifically targeted at bringing him up to current standards.

Of course, this means we don’t always get to finish the lower-scope updates with a shout of ‘IT’S PERFECT!’ and tears of joy. The animators may hate some of the old animations, or the sound designers may desperately want to incorporate expanded VO or new tech. But delivering high-quality, incremental updates on a regular basis can help make sure we’re able to take a look at more players’ favorite outdated champions and move consistently through our backlog. This approach will be especially important as we look to finish off 2014 in strong fashion and move right on in to 2015.

 

The Plan Moving Forward

The challenge remains vast – dozens of champions could use some level of love right now, and others might have taken their place once we’re done with them. So, how best to meet the task? Essentially, our latest thinking boils down to two overarching principles:

  1. The scope of updates will vary immensely, from Sion-level projects to minor texture and gameplay polish efforts, all based on each champion’s specific needs and place in the overall roster.
  2. Following from the first, we’ll simultaneously pursue multiple updates of varying scope. Several pipelines will exist so that no champion is left behind because its unique needs don’t fit the current mold.

CUComic_thumb

These principles are actually already in play – Sion, Viktor and Soraka emerged nearly simultaneously and with varying degrees of change. Moving into 2015, we plan to do updates in the Renekton to Sona range much more often than in the past, but in addition to Sion-level updates (not in lieu of them).

In line with this thinking, we’re moving away from our past attempts to strictly define update categories (older terms like relaunch and rework as well as the newer TU, MTU, VU, GU, etc). Visually-focused updates will often include gameplay tweaks or quality-of-life changes, while gameplay-driven updates will frequently include opportunistic or even necessary visual adjustments like new ability effects. Updates don’t all need to fit a predetermined template, and each will be different in scope based on the champion’s needs – our goal is simply to get every champion up to the quality bar that players can expect of a modern League champion.

But how will this play out in practice? Let’s take a look at these concepts through the lens of several current projects that demonstrate the breadth of scope we’re pursuing with updates.

 

Maokai
image

Maokai is the next update in the Singed / Renekton vein, as he’s mostly in good shape and just needs some targeted work to bring him up to date. His gameplay’s looking good after a kit rebalance earlier this season, so we’re focusing on some low-scope visual buffs aimed at making him even more exciting to play. He’ll sport a whole new model and texture across his base and skins, and we’re also taking a pass at his visual effects. Look for him to hit PBE soon!

 

Tristana

Tristana’s a consistently popular champion and might not seem an obvious update candidate, but she’s got a couple areas where a bit of work could bring her right up-to-date with current standards. As one of the game’s “intro” characters (you can unlock her for free on our Facebook page), we think it’s about time Tristana received a buff to her visuals, especially given that Yordle style has evolved a bit over the years. While we’re at it, we’re taking a light pass at her gameplay focused on adding a bit of new spice to her E, increasing her ability interactions, and fleshing out her strategic niche among the roster of marksmen (errr….markswomen…marksladyyordles). She’s a moderately-sized project with significant investment and time commitments, but still focused on the specific areas in need of an update rather than more sweeping changes.

 

Poppy

PoppyHammers_thumbEveryone’s favorite hammer girl has been on our scopes for a while, as she’s one of those older champions in need of across-the-board work to bring her up to current standards. To be clear, we LOVE her core identity – who doesn’t want to play the fearless Yordle striking hammer-induced terror into enemies across the map? In fact, the gap between her awesome premise and lackluster execution is exactly why we’re working on her.

Artistically, Poppy will still look like a heavily armed and armored ball of golden death. We’re looking to preserve her thematic and color scheme while bringing her art up-to-date both technically and stylistically. Similarly, there’s a lot to love in her story, we just plan to bring it up-to-date and cement her more firmly in the world and among her fellow Yordles. On the gameplay front the challenge is a bit bigger, as Poppy’s kit is pretty archaic at this point. Nevertheless, we’re looking to keep her current fearless style of gameplay and core dash-and-smash mechanics – we still want her to have that same diver mentality.

Poppy is definitely a hefty undertaking – not quite a Sion-level project but pretty close to it. She’s still a ways out and is going to take a lot of work, but will hopefully offer an awesome experience for players once we’re done with the job.


As I’ve mentioned, these and other updates will vary tremendously in scope as we tailor them to each champion’s unique needs and opportunities. Keep in mind that this is nowhere near an exhaustive list of our current projects, and if your favorite older champion isn’t included, fear not! He/she/it is somewhere on our radar, and we hope for an even better cadence in 2015 as we continue to incorporate our latest learnings.

We’re incredibly excited about the future of Champion Updates, and we hope you’ve enjoyed this exploration. Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments below!

 

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

 

PBE 07 11 Banner 2

 

PBE 07/11 Content

 

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

[ Note ] The Preseason changes are up on the PBE. They’ll be live with Patch 4.20.

 

All PBE Updates from Patch 4.20 Cycle:

[ 07/11 ] Nerfs to Gnar, Katarina and Rammus, Buffs to Sona, Texture Rebalances for Riven and Jax, Preseason Tweaks, New Summoner Icons

[ 05/11 ] Kalista, Battlecast Alpha Skarner (Legendary), Battlecast Kog’Maw, Pickpocket Twitch, Captain Volibear, Safecracker Evelynn, Constable Trundle, Balance Changes, Texture Rebalances and More

 


Maokai Visual Update

[ Note ] Maokai’s visual update isn’t available on the PBE at the moment.

 

Ququroon Final Portrait Branching out to the PBE is Maokai, the Twisted Treant!

Having gone through a growth spurt, Maokai now looks and feels more like the character he was meant to be. With an updated model and texture set, crisp new visual effects, new sounds to crush your enemies with and more, this plant come to life now feels more alive than ever. As usual, all of the above affects his skins as well.

One of the other major goals on this project was to increase visual clarity for Maokai, his allies and his enemies. His ultimate is massively powerful, but was it ever really the most noticeable? Did his snare ever really feel as effective as it actually is? Could his saplings be even more awesome? We pushed these a bit, so hopefully you’ll be able to feel the effects!

We’d really appreciate it if you’d take a look at Maokai, and hit us with any bugs and feedback that come your way. Your feedback helps to guide changes we can make, as well as helps us grow as a team.

Between the update to Summoner’s Rift and now this, it certainly is a great time for our trees.

[ Link to Post ]


Follow Up

Ququroon Final PortraitTo answer a few things from the get go…

  • New models on all skins EXCEPT Haunted (new textures on this though) and Goalkeeper. Those were modern.
  • Very light animation work. He got a new run cycle, and some cleanup on his other anims.
  • You guys are awfully excited about him coming out in 4.20 for some reason.
  • [ Link to Post ]

 

Here’s an image, taken from a dev blog on Champion Updates:

image

 

Updated Maokai Spell Icons

 

Maokai’s received spooky new icons for his abilities. From left to right: Passive, Q, W, E and R.

Maokai_Passive Maokai_Q Maokai_W Maokai_E Maokai_R

 

 

Updated Graves Splash Art

Graves has turned to a healthy lifestyle and has ditched the cigar in his updated splash.

 

Old

 

Graves Old Splash

 

New

 

Graves New Splash

Graves_0 (2)

 

 

Champion Changes

 

 

Janna Final Portrait

  • Base Mana-per-5 decreased from 10 to 9

 

Nami Final Portrait

  • Base Mana-per-5 decreased from 10 to 9

 

Singed Final Portrait

  • Base Health-per-5 increased from 7 to 8
  • Base Mana-per-5 increased from 6.5 to 7.5

 

Sona Final Portrait

  • Base Mana-per-5 decreased from 10 to 9

 

Soraka Final Portrait

  • Base Mana-per-5 decreased from 10 to 9

 

Taric Final Portrait

  • Base Mana-per-5 decreased from 10 to 6

 

 

New Store Images for Boosts

 

IP Boosts and XP Boosts have received new icons in the store! I tried to sound excited.

 

ip_boost  xp_boost

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.