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Rethinking Ranked Fives and Tuning Dynamic Queue

Socrates New PortraitTwo weeks ago, we confirmed we’re not bringing back solo queue and promised to do a better job of keeping you updated about our ongoing efforts to improve ranked.

So let’s talk about what we’re doing to address three specific issues:

  • Recognition for skilled solo play in dynamic queue
  • Opportunities for ranked fives
  • Matchmaking problems including queue times for high MMR players and improved odds for everyone to get their primary role

 

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT AND RECOGNITION IN DYNAMIC QUEUE

Individual achievement isn’t given the same recognition in Dynamic Queue, and this has left some solo-only players feeling disenfranchised. We’re shipping a feature in 6.13 that ought to help: ranked emblems.

The goal is to give you another tool (alongside your rank and champ masteries) to show what sort of player you are. We’ll track your win history and premade size, and once you reach 25 wins in Dynamic Queue you’ll earn either a Solo Emblem, a Dynamic Emblem, or a Team Emblem. The emblem you earn is based on the way you’ve queued up for your previous 25 wins, and you can only have one emblem at a time. Emblems have no impact on matchmaking, but they’ll show up on the ladder and will be accessible to third-party tracking sites through our API.

So how do you know which emblem you’ll get after 25 wins?

  • Solo Preference Emblem: Queue alone for most of your games
  • Dynamic Preference Emblem: Queue with varying team sizes for most of your games
  • Team Preference Emblem: Queue with full teams for most of your games.

The ranked emblems system isn’t retroactive, so it’ll begin awarding emblems based on the first 25 wins you get after it launches.

With solo queue gone, there needs to be better recognition of individual achievement. We’re committed to solving this problem, and we think this implementation of ranked emblems probably won’t completely solve this issue for the players who are least happy with dynamic queue. We’re seeing emblems as one step towards a better system, not as the end-all-be-all solution to the problem. We want to see how this is received before we move on to other options (and we are looking at other options).
SCHEDULED RANKED 5v5 TEAMS

We disabled ranked teams at the start of the season because we were unsure how match quality would be affected by the addition of dynamic queue. Now that we’ve limited high MMR players (Diamond 5+) to solo, duo, or trio queues, those players have no option to play ranked as a group of five. Even among the much larger population of players who fall below Diamond 5 (about 99% of all players), we’ve heard that people miss the ranked 5v5 queue. They miss the unique challenge of managing a consistent ranked team without the constraints of tier restrictions. Queue population issues prevent us from bringing back a permanent ranked fives queue, because we can’t guarantee reasonable queue times in off-peak hours. Instead of giving up on ranked fives, we want to try a potential solution: scheduled ranked 5v5 teams.

Other than the fact that this queue will not be available 24/7, it’ll function exactly like the old ranked 5v5 teams queue did. We’re still evaluating exactly what time and days for each region make sense, so look for more info on this in the coming weeks.
QUEUE TIMES AND POSITION SELECT

Queue times have been far too long for high MMR players. As part of our ongoing efforts to solve this, we introduced an autofill mode that triggers when we expect position select to lead to unacceptably high queue times. Our initial data shows that high MMR queue times have improved dramatically, and most players in Master and above are only ever impacted by autofill once every ten games. Here are more specific stats:

 

 

You’ll notice that queue times for everyone under Diamond tier have actually gone up slightly. This has nothing to do with our tuning of the autofill feature. Instead, this is a trade-off we’re making to increase the likelihood you’ll receive your primary role in champ select. Regardless of your ranking, you should have a better chance to get your primary position.

 


These are great gains, but what about the criticisms against autofill? The autofill feature undermines one of the main promises of new champ select—that you’ll get the role you want. This is undeniably true. Forcing players into autofill means they’ll sometimes get stuck in their weakest role, and this makes climbing into the highest ranks as a one-trick or mid-only player much harder.We’re okay with this right now for two reasons: 1) It’s necessary to get high MMR queue times down and improve matchmaking quality, and 2) Players dealt with an even more drastic form of randomized role selection for years in the previous champ select process. The high queue times and matchmaking inequalities we’ve been dealing with resulted from our switch to new champ select with its position-select features.

But we aren’t willing to give up the gains that new champ select brings us—it’s still awarding high MMR players their desired role at a much higher rate than what players were used to with last season’s ranked draft pick. Instead, we’ll continue making adjustments and improvements that minimize the irritation of not getting your preferred role.

 

 

The shift to dynamic queue is about reinforcing League as a team game, so organized team play needs to be much, much easier than it is now. We need to offer the right platforms, tools, and team-finding capabilities to stand behind League as a team sport. We’re not there yet, but we’re determined to do the work get there.

This is an iterative process. We’ll keep communicating specific details about our plans for improving ranked, and we’ll be honest about what’s working and what isn’t. Ultimately, we’re aiming to give every type of player (including solo only players, high MMR folks, and people who are currently happy with dynamic queue) the best League experience possible.

 

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Answering concerns of allowing groups in Ranked Solo Queue

[ Note ] You can find the official post that lists all the Preseason Ranked improvements HERE.

Socrates New PortraitI’ve seen a few concerns popping up around opening ranked queues to larger premades over the last 24 hours. I want to walk you through why we’re making the change in a little more detail. First, I want to say this is the subject of debate internally and it’s something we’re going to be watching closely to see how it plays out over the preseason. That in mind, the argument really comes down to the following:

First, when we looked at your feedback around the issues with ranked queues, we saw a pattern:

“I had a leaver in my game, resulting in me getting demoted”
“I ran into a rager who ruined my promotions”
“I’m bronze V because these noobs I’m getting matched with”

What’s the pattern? As a player, I didn’t have control of who I was playing with in a highly competitive environment resulting in misaligned competitive intentions. We’ve built systems to address many of these issues, but ultimately we realized we had hit diminishing returns without implementing more fundamental changes.

Next, ranked standing currently is a reflection of your ability as an individual to carry in a team game. We of course believe great play should be recognized and rewarded and it should be the foundation of ranked standing, along with team work. Right now ranked standing is far more representative of personal mastery than teamwork. This is why when you look at solo queue the games are so different from high level team games. When we looked at this pattern, we asked ourselves why it should be this way. Why should the most authoritative standing of your abilities in a team game be a rating that requires you explicitly not play as a team?

Finally, we just straight up asked players if they wanted the change via a large scale feedback tool. A small number of players were strongly opposed, the vast majority of players were in favor or strongly in favor. This doesn’t make it the right decision, but it was a data point we considered an important part of the picture.

We believe this change will reshape behavior around the ranked experience and we’re excited to see what happens during the preseason. Change is scary, and we realize this is a big change. As the stewards of ranked we are going to be analyzing the hell out of the data we get during the preseason to make sure this is a step forward for the game.

For the open minded and the skeptics alike: we look forward to seeing what happens in the preseason and to hearing your feedback.

[ Link to Post ]

 

Follow Up Banner

Lyte Final Portrait Sorry I haven’t been able to hop on this thread until now–busy trying to bughunt with the team and it’s been a long few days.

We knew that Dynamic Ranked would be a highly controversial topic, and it even was widely debated internally. It came down to a few key points:

1) The vast majority of players preferred to play League with friends, but there was currently no end-game progression in League other than Ranked (we’re not going to count Ranked Teams because we agree there are many issues such as a high barrier of entry). Most players do want to try Ranked, so players were forced to enter a queue that artificially capped your party at 1 or 2 and made the game less social. This was bad.

2) We added a few matchmaking features to bias the system so that it would pair similar group combinations against each other. So, premade 5s would most likely play other premade 5s, and so on and so forth. In our testing, and when we modeled data from Normal Draft Queue to emulate what it would be like if we did Dynamic Ranked, over 95% of the time groups were paired with similar size groups. We’ll have to monitor the behavior of Dynamic Ranked to see if the pattern is the same, but we’re hopeful.

3) There’s actually a pretty big perception issue with premades in League. When I talk to players, they always remember the premade that bullied them or made the game more toxic; however, when I point out behind the scenes and show them the data that almost every single Ranked game has a Duo Queue in it… they are shocked. The perception problem is that you only remember the games where a premade did have an issue, but you never remember the games where they were quiet and just didn’t give away they were a premade. We’ve been measuring toxicity in premade combinations for awhile now and believe that most most combinations of premade 2s and 3s are fine, and premade 4s have a little bit more toxicity than we’d like. Premade 5s are obviously awesome experiences. So what are we doing about premade 4s?

4) As you may have noticed, we’ve beefed up the Report System, and added new features to the Instant Feedback System. More than ever before, Premade 4s won’t be able to “affect” your account if they simply gang up and try to bully you with reports. In fact, if they do this often and they file false reports, they can be banned for this behavior. Secondly, in a Premade 4 situation, your reports are just as powerful as the group, so if they are showing toxic behaviors at all, your single report can have a meaningful impact and trigger a punishment. We believe measures like this will help balance out this specific scenario to be less negative.

5) With the new Champ Select experience, we’re giving players more benefits than ever before to play with friends because we believe playing with friends is the right way to enjoy League–we don’t want the game to become an anti-social experience. For example, there will be a promo bonus for playing in parties during the launch of the Ranked 2016 Season, and playing in parties is the best way to guarantee exactly what positions you want to play in the new Dynamic Ranked Queue. We understand that we’re going to frustrate the purists that enjoy playing solo and seeing what they can do alone among a group of 4 strangers but, we want you to give this a try before slamming it. More players playing Ranked means more competition for you, and it means quicker queue times at low and high MMRs. We also have ideas to expand the Ranked system even more in the future to give multiple ways for you to challenge yourself and your friends.

6) Like any big change, we’re going to have to monitor this one carefully. We ask you guys to be patient and give it a chance. We’ll ultimately make the right decision, but a LOT of players have voiced their opinions that they do want a more social Ranked experience and want to play in a Dynamic Ranked queue. Give it a chance, and we’re listening if it doesn’t work.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Why are you allowing 5man premades in Solo Queue when theres Team Queue

Lyte Final PortraitRanked Teams had too high of a barrier–a forced roster, a roster cap, and playing X games together before your MMR stabilized. Solo/Duo Queue was a pretty anti-social experience, and players kept saying over and over again in research they want something in-between Ranked Teams and Solo/Duo. Hop on, grab a few friends (no matter how many) and play for stakes. I think this is going to be far more competitive than players think, they just have to give it a shot.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Dont you think a solo player matching against 4 premades is at a disadvantage

Lyte Final PortraitNo, a 4:1 team is not at a disadvantage compared to the other 4:1 team. These cases all output a 50/50 win rate over time.

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Wont inferior communication make solo players unable to compete with groups

Lyte Final PortraitThis is why groups will match against other groups more often before being matched against teams of solos.

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TL DR Will I get Ranked Rewards

Victorious Sivir Minibanner

DARTAGNAN Final PortraitHey everyone,

Ranked Rewards are the culmination of everyone’s hard work throughout the season (or grinding those 10 ranked games at the last minute XD). We want to make sure everyone knows the exact requirements in order to unlock those rewards:

 


Ranked Season

  • Ranked Queues will be disabled on November 11th, 00:01 in each region. For NA, this is PST — Click here for EUW, EUNE, and OCE
    • You can queue at any time before this, and the game will still count. You can even queue at exactly 00:00 PST on November 11th, and the ranked game willstill count.
    • The Ranked Season will officially end once the final ranked game is completed in that region
    • Challenger/Master tiers will update one final time after the final games are completed (after the Ranked queue is disabled) which determine the end of season standings
  • To earn rewards, you must have played ALL 10 games
  • If you decay at exactly 00:00 PST on November 11th, you will get rewards based on where you land after the decay. Decay is turned is disabled on November 11th, 00:01 PST — the same time Ranked Queues are disabled
  • You can find a full list of rewards for each Tier in this Article
  • Rewards are displayed for specific queues. A full explanation can be found here

Ranked Solo-queue

  • Can be completed solo or with a duo-queue partner
  • Rewards are awarded depending on your ending rank at November 11th, 00:01 PST,NOT your highest achieved
  • You must be Silver Tier and above to receive a Loading Screen border
  • You must be Gold Tier and above to receive the Victorious Sivir Skin (If you don’t own Sivir, she will be added to your account.)
    • NOTE: If you purchased Sivir right before receiving Victorious Rewards, she willnot be refunded.

Ranked Teams

  • A ranked team must have completed 5 ranked games by November 11th, 00:01 PST
  • You must have WON 10 games in a single ranked team to qualify for team rewards
    • You must have 10 wins on the same team, not on multiple teams
    • If you won 10 ranked games on a team, and then are kicked from that team, you will not earn rewards. Player Support cannot override or change this.
    • If you were kicked from a team for whatever reason, you will need to win 10 NEWgames on that team (if re-invited) or on a different team.
      • For example, if you won 5 games, and then were kicked from the team (then re-invited), you would need to win 10 more games, not just 5
    • If your team goes into an in-active state before November 11th, 00:01 PST, your team will not earn rewards
  • The Ranked Team Ward Skin is unlocked for each individual (not team) based on how many points you individually earned during the Ranked Season:
    • You must WIN Ranked Team games to earn points — Points are individually earned, not tied to specific teams
      • Victory in Ranked Team 3v3 – 1 point
      • Victory in Ranked Team 5v5 – 3 points
      • Points are earned from ALL Ranked Teams combined. Points do not have to be earned within a single Ranked Team. Even if you leave the team, are kicked, or if the team disbands, your points remain.
    • Ward Skin tiers are unlocked at 20, 45 and 75 points respectively
      • You must earn 20 points to earn the base Ward Skin

Things that will get your ass disqualified from Ranked Rewards

  • Being banned or having active chat/ranked restrictions at November 11th, 00:01 PST
  • If you had any 7 day or more bans, they must have expired/ended at or before August 9th, 23:59 PST
    • For example, if you received a 7 day ban on August 2nd and it ended on or sometime before August 9th, 23:59 PDT, you are eligible for rewards
    • On the other hand, if you received a 7 day ban on August 3rd and it ended on or after August 10th, 00:00 PST, you are ineligible for rewards
  • Players banned for boosting during the 2015 season remain ineligible for rewards
    • Both those who boosted and those who did the boosting are ineligible
  • Players who received fraud-related (including Chargeback bans) and accidental/false bans will still be eligible
  • Players who had LeaverBuster suspensions are still eligible
  • Being ineligible for 2015 Ranked Rewards does not automatically disqualify you from getting other rewards in future seasons

Reward Distribution

  • All rewards (Borders, banners, icons, Skin Wards, Victorious Sivir/Champion) should be distributed by November 18th, 23:59 PST
    • Rewards are distributed in waves. If you see others with rewards, but you haven’t been rewarded yet, don’t panic! You will get your rewards in a subsequent wave
  • If you earned rewards, but did not receive them by November 18th, 23:59 PST, feel free to submit a ticket to Player Support so we can investigate further!

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Ive reached Gold only in Team Queue will I still get Victorious Sivir

DARTAGNAN Final PortraitIf your team is Gold AND you have won 10 games on that team, you get the Victorious Sivir Skin.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

If my last ban was on August 9th will I get the endseason rewards

DARTAGNAN Final PortraitIf the ban ends after August 10th, 00:00 PST, you will not be getting rewards.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

 

If I qualify for a Tier 3 Ward Skin do I still get the Tier 1 and 2 skins

DARTAGNAN Final PortraitYou get the skin at your tier. Think of it as a single ward skin that “evolves” depending on your tier.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

How is the Ranked decay time calculated

DARTAGNAN Final PortraitKeep in mind that decay is only for those in Plat and above. Other than that though, decay should start ticking the moment your game ended. So if you ended at 10am, it would decay exactly 28 days at 10am.

Just to be careful though, you may want to consider playing a game to make sure you don’t decay!

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

DEV BLOG Marksman Itemization

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Reinboom Final PortraitHello all! Riot Reinboom here to bring you a look into the thoughts behind the Marksman itemization changes this preseason. 😀

To jump straight to the point, Marksmen have a number of pain points in the game right now. There’s a distinct lack of individuality between Marksmen. For most, their items are incredibly prescriptive and there’s not a lot of deviation. Generally, as a class, they suffer from high team demands without a lot of self expression to work within those demands.

The major thread woven between most of these issues is a distinct lack of meaningful choice.

  • Meaningful Choice

We’ve mentioned Meaningful Choice before.

What’s most important here however is the method to achieving meaningful choice (rather than just choice). For Marksman items, we tackled this with three different strategies: “Autonomy”, “Reaction”, and “Prediction”.

Autonomy. Autonomy as a choice is represented by the tradeoff of multiple fantasies (whether they be gameplay fantasies, thematics, or anything you can form a personal attachment to). Feeling attached to Statikk Shiv because you personally value wave clear and are willing to sacrifice your other options for it, is an aspect of autonomy shown in item form.

Reaction. Reaction as a choice is represented by your capability to solve a problem presented to you. There are multiple types of reaction. For these changes, we’ll be focusing on responses to your opponents in the items they build, the champions they pick, and the needs of your team.

Planning. Planning as a choice is represented by the tactical and strategic goals you create for individual games. This can be seen by decisions on how you or your team should address each fight (and then building to work within that understanding), or the order for which you build your components, such as getting a Pick Axe to prep for your Last Whisper as you wait for your opponent to inevitably build armor.

  • Supporting Variety

When it comes to supporting more options for Marksman, we often run into a difficult problem we call “The Marksman Damage Optimization Problem.” Marksmans item choices have classically been guided by a very simple and direct point of output: “How can I do the most damage with the options presented to me?”

We’re operating under the assumption that this problem is fundamental to Marksman and their role within League. There are a number of reasons for this.

In games (not just League) single points of optimization, when that point can empower itself, tend to be notably strong. In Marksman’s case, their single point of optimization is damage. This is primarily caused by their damage being reliable via ranged auto-attacks, meaning they can leverage positioning (which is free) as a primary defense.

However, we feel like this identity is clear for Marksman. This type of distinct identity allows League to work as a team game, where each individual has their contribution. So in order to support keeping what makes a Marksman a Marksman while still offering choice, we’ll be exploring a different route: While picking up the stats that give Marksman their damage, we should offer choices among those items along the way.

You can see this already in the game with the choice posed by Phantom Dancer and Statikk Shiv. Unfortunately, the nuance of this choice can be hard to appreciate (am I behind, or could be behind in gold?), and even then there’s not a lot of these types of selections.

  • The Changing Landscape

To wrap it altogether, choices that end up just being damage optimization tests aren’t great. But that’s the expectation of a Marksman. And they have core needs on top of core needs built out of natural consumption of “a lot of different stats.”

The direction we went with to introduce meaningful choice to these restrictions is the idea of “horizontal expansion.” Take the model presented by the current system, and diversify within those bounds. Your options for lifesteal need to be greater than a single item. The items that define a Marksman’s play pattern should expand beyond just “awesome auto attacks.” Your options available for who you can target should be greater than “always buy Last Whisper.”


Identity

Who am I? Do I autoattack quite a bit? Okay, Infinity Edge. Maybe I autoattack a lot? Infinity Edge. No, seriously, autoattacks are my jam and I will hear nothing less. Fine, Blade of the Ruined King.

Not a lot there.

There’s a few valid ways of addressing this: we could push more differences between the auto attacks (insert roster devblog link here), or we could push some Marksman to be empowered by their abilities.

Identity items highlight and specialize the choices you made at champion select. Once again, “Who am I?” We don’t feel like in the current landscape the more caster-like Marksman are well served by this idea. Enter: Essence Reaver.

Essence Reaver is being changed to offer caster marksman access to a stat they’ve desired, but could never really (or rarely) fully utilize: Cooldown Reduction.

Essence Reaver now has the capability to generate you up to 30% Cooldown Reduction by leveraging the Critical Strike Chance available from other Marksman items. We you to feel comfortable making the same damage offers, choices, and expectations from the rest of the Marksman items while being able to uniquely leverage what your champion pick offered.


Multiplier

Statikk Shiv or Phantom Dancer. Am I behind or am I ahead?

There’s a lot of possible room with these items, except that Phantom Dancer is the poster child for TMDOP (“The Marksman Damage Optimization Problem,” remember?).

So we’re changing that. And we’re widening what it means to be a multiplier item.

In addition to be the damage curve definers, the pointed tip at the end of your two item spike, multipliers are getting an additional identity: “How should I fight?” This is a choice grounded primarily within autonomy (“What works best for me?”) as well as reaction (“What works best for my team?”).

We divided this choice into four large branches:

Phantom Dancer: I should skirmish and duel.
Hurricane: I want to team fight and wombo.
Statikk Shiv: I must push.
Rapid Firecannon: I need to siege.


Situational Offense

Last Whisper highlights an interesting problem. The usage of total penetration meant that even against champions not buying armor, Last Whisper was actually at least a +10% physical damage amp. This was actually a “generally useful” item masquerading under the guise of a tank killer.

We want to break the above expectations to make selective offense a little less automatic while, at the same time, making it easier to pick up a response when it’s necessary. Selective offensive items are now guided by their components and what you’re giving up, while being significantly more targeted than the current Last Whisper.

The components:

Last Whisper: I need to get through their bonus armor.
Executioner’s Calling: I need to stuff their life steal or health gain.
Giant Slayer: I need to climb over their mountain of health.

These items can be combined up, with a final selection of which type of selection are you leaving out:

Lord Dominik’s Regards: A combination of Last Whisper and Giant Slayer
Mortal Reminder: A combination of Last Whisper and Executioner’s Calling

Do note the change from total to bonus armor penetration, as all of these are still armor pen items at heart. It bears repeating: we do not want these items to be generalist damage purchases. This is also why we split the use case of Mortal Reminder (taking out high sustain targets like enemy marksmen, Swain, Mundo, etc) and Lord Dominik’s Regards (tank busting). If you find you don’t need the situational offense these items bring (or nobody’s building any armor!), maybe you can look into picking up another multiplier, or some…


Situational Defense

The key defense favored by Marksman is lifesteal, but there’s not a lot available here so all Marksman default to the same purchase: The Bloodthirster. This stat is so core that it actively pushes aside all other defensive choices until it’s covered.

We’re running with that idea. For Marksman, lifesteal means defense. The result is all the items in this category provide enough lifesteal before letting you branch into the types of defenses you should otherwise situationally take.

The Bloodthirster: I need to sustain through everything
Death’s Dance: I need to get burst off me long enough to hit
Mercurial Scimitar: I need to be free (of CC)


Going Forward

  • There’s a lot of new abilities and interactions presented by the changed items, and we don’t believe we have every one of these ironed out.

League of Legends hasn’t been tuned to the idea that some Marksman will get 40% Cooldown Reduction, for example, and it’s impossible to know the full effects of this.

We’ll be watching diligently to identify what’s problematic and what’s not!

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Why do ADCs need to dedicate only a single item slot to deal with tanks

Reinboom Final PortraitMarksman are the damage class that’s in charge with killing tanks (eventually).
We don’t want that to be increased (or increased to a notable degree) above what’s on live however.

One of the more difficult balancing points for a carry class is these expectations. If, as a class, we need Marksman to deal less damage to squishier targets, that’s difficult to do because it will break their expectations on needing to kill tankier targets. If we need Marksman to deal more damage to tankier targets, that’s difficult to do because that will make them delete squishier targets.

Lord Dominik’s Regards compared to old Last Whisper is this redirected in a vacuum. Moving from total penetration to bonus penetration is actually a rather significant nerf in damage against all targets, squishy and tanky. Everyone has base armor and there’s a lot of it. Depending on who the target is, just that conversion is a loss from anywhere around 10% to upwards of around 20% damage.

Giant Slayer is doing two things in that Regards.
1: It’s covering up the damage nerf on the item to some of the classes. If it’s still too high, it can be individually adjusted without much pain either.
2: It retains and confirms Marksman’s weakness of not favoring health (so things like Trinity Force and The Black Cleaver are less favorable if you’re also getting this)

(note: The damage it gives is based on the difference between the Marksman’s health and its target, so it gets weaker the more health the Marksman has)

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

What if ADCs start killing mages with an early Rod of Ages or Rylais too fast

Reinboom Final PortraitPlanned initial reaction if that showcases itself is to push it out to maxing at 800 health difference.

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Why do AD casters reach their CDR cap much easier than AP casters

Pwyff Final PortraitI think it’s incredibly dangerous to compare AD casters – most of whom rely on their spells for sustained, low-burst damage (maybe not Graves) with little to no CC, vs. AP Casters, many of whom have game-winning abilities should they get the right catch.

CDR is, like any stat – mana, health, armor, whatever – something that interacts with the kit in its own way. Trying to extrapolate some grand truth seems weird. Additionally, this is me calling you out for posing an opinion as a question. A real question might be “why do you think making CDR an easily accessible stat is valuable for marksmen? Especially when compared to mages?”

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Do you worry that ADCs will deal too much damage and receive too little

Reinboom Final PortraitMany worries.

There is always that tipping point in sight. Marksmen optimize for damage so directly which means creating a desirable enough defensive item is difficult without pushing on this risk.

We’ve intentionally starved the high end damage points because of this. Infinity Edge and Phantom Dancer had a ways it could go while still being “high end damage items”. Their damage is going down specifically to make room for more interesting abilities.

I don’t believe we’ve hit the balance needed for this perfectly yet. It’s difficult to get a degree of imbalance with this many changes (and there will likely be something that slips out obscene, oh preseason). But it can be adjusted once out.

More importantly, there are actually a notable number of more tools that let us reach those adjustments now. e.g. If a tank becomes unseen due to these changes, raising their base armor per level is much more meaningful now.

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You said that Grievous Wounds is bad for the game Howd that change

Reinboom Final PortraitWe didn’t change our mind. Personally, I believe that GW as it exists on live can’t be supported systemically and is very oppressive.

However, with these changes GW was changed to 40% reduction (down from 50%) as well as only blocking self only healing. So as an example, it will stop Soraka’s self sustain, but not her support sustain. 40% may very well still be too high, but we’ll be able to respond to it if so (lowering it further perhaps).

Having an response for “there’s a LOT of X quality on the enemy team, our team should have answers” is important.

It’s also important to note that this change is global, and it will affect other sources of Grievous Wounds. If this impacts other sources of GW too negatively (like what may happen with Morellonomicon) then we can adjust it after we get a better handle of GW through the preseason.

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Follow Up Banner

If the heal debuff ends up too strong why not restrict it rather than nerf it

Reinboom Final PortraitThere is a low point (in testing, I found that to be around 30%) for which GW just doesn’t feel attractive anymore, even when it is.

If it drops too much further, then we will seek out other forms of gating on the items. Duration is a clear hit (from the 3 and 5 now to 2 and 4, or 1.5 and 3). If that still not enough, then we’ll seek more complex options.

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Why is there no prerequisite for GW to proc on Executioners Calling

Riot Axes New PortraitWe think this model is correct for Executioner’s Calling, particularly given the changes to Grievous Wounds (e.g. it no longer applies to healing from allies, so Soraka’s W isn’t reduced). It’s possible that we need to re-evaluate Morellonomicon, though I’m much less sure about that one.

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Can you design a different component than Zeal or Dagger for items like PD

Riot Axes New PortraitWe could, but adding more components carries its own costs and the value just isn’t there. By having them share so much of their build path, we allow you to choose which one you really need later, which means more adaptation to the game state. For this particular set of items, we value that pretty highly.

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Why are the item recipes for Statikk Shiv and Rapid Firecannon identical

Riot Axes New PortraitThis reinforces the shared properties of those two items. It’s not ideal, but I wouldn’t consider it a big problem either.

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Why does The Bloodthirster have a 1500 gold combine cost on the PBE

Riot Axes New PortraitI’m gonna fix this one.

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Do you think The Bloodthirster will be able to compete with Mercurial Scimitar

Riot Axes New PortraitYes, I do. You’re glossing over the value of 10% lifesteal and effectively 300+ health later in the game – that’s a huge amount of power. That said, I do think we’re going to see a lot of double lifesteal builds, so I suspect it’s more a question of “Pick 2 of Death’s Dance, Mercurial Scimitar, Bloodthirster, Blade of the Ruined King, or Maw of Malmortius” rather than a direct comparison between these two items, and I think Bloodthirster fits in as one of those 2 in many situations.

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Why do both Last Whisper upgrades provide identical stats

Riot Axes New PortraitWhen we do that, it’s because we want to force a spotlight onto the one real point of difference – do you want to deal with tanky champs better or do you need grievous wounds? Stat differences tend to force you to optimize around your champion’s stat usage – you get a situation where Jinx always buys X, Lucian always buys Y, which means that neither gets much of a choice and Jinx just ends up with the property “Does more damage to health stackers” and Lucian just ends up with the property “Puts Grievous Wounds on targets”. There are situations where that’s a good thing, but that’s not what we’re going for here.

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Whyd you take 100 HP off Black Cleaver and made it cost 500 Gold more

Riot Axes New PortraitI answered this in more detail elsewhere in the thread, but Tl;dr: shifting power from defense to offense is intended to help Juggernaut build diversity a little bit by making it an even better choice in some situations but a wrong choice in others.

As for its efficiency going down specifically, it was one of our outlier overly efficient items.

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Why were FIGHTER items like Maw Triforce and Cleaver changed for ADCs

Riot Axes New PortraitI can explain the changes – tl;dr all of those changes were motivated by their Fighter use cases, NOT Marksmen.


Maw of Marmoltius is being changed with AD Assassins and light Fighters in mind, as a potential go-to MR item. The addition of flat armor penetration coupled with a pair of unique passives that reward you for taking risks helps Talon or Wukong a lot more than it helps any Marksman.

I do think there will be some Marksman usage of this item and that’s perfectly acceptable, but they aren’t intended core users and I don’t think they actually like this iteration better than the previous one, except that the previous one was weak.


The Black Cleaver is being changed with Juggernaut build diversity in mind. I realize that’s going to look strange since they’d prefer the previous iteration of the item – because it gave them everything they might want in a single package. On Live, if you’re a core Black Cleaver user, you’re going to rush it pretty much no matter what – it isn’t contextual at all. With the changes, if you really need defenses first, you won’t be able to rely on that item to solve it for you – but if you’re doing well and want more kill power so you can snowball, it’s even better.

I do anticipate more use by non-Juggernauts – it’s a better item for Wukong, for example, and that’s fine. I will be very surprised if Marksmen adopt it – maybe one (Graves?), but certainly not on any widespread basis. There’s no reason to build it with Essence Reaver and Essence Reaver is simply better for those champions.

This is the riskiest change of the three, and if it does break The Black Cleaver for Juggernauts, we will certainly be following up.


Trinity Force was actually changed in 3 different ways for different reasons:

(1) Power reduced across the board – it was one of the highest outliers for gold efficiency in the entire game, so our efficiency normalization pass hit it especially hard. Basically we want you purchasing items because the cool things they do fit your champion and goals in a game, not because it just gives more power than the rest.

(2) Sheen traded AP for CDR. This was a net buff for most (but not quite all) Sheen users – the item no longer forces you to spend gold on a stat you probably don’t care about. Even among the characters who do care about AP and bought Sheen, CDR should be approximately neutral in most cases. I’m sure there’s a champ or two who end up being sad about it, but they’re a small minority. Trinity Force inherits this change, which does make it better for Marksmen – but also better for most Fighters.

The main reason we’re excited about this change, however, is that it gives us a much better ability to make the items that build out of Sheen exciting in targeted ways. The immediate payoff there is the new Iceborn Gauntlet – Tanks can have a Sheen upgrade of their own now.

(3) Critical Strike increased, Attack Speed decreased. This is inherited from the Zeal changes – both values are exactly the same as Zeal. This one’s happening because of Marksmen but I wouldn’t say that it’s for Marksmen – it means that Marksmen can’t really use Tri Force as their single Attack Speed item anymore (for the few that did use it that way), but it does mean they can use it for their single crit item much more effectively.

I agree that this feels bad for Fighters, but we’ve been over our other options here and short of making Trinity Force a much different item (e.g. increasing its bonus AD by 40 or something) there’s not a better alternative available, unfortunately. Options like Recurve Bow tend to feel just as bad for Fighters (at least Zeal has % move speed!), so they aren’t actually improvements.

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I think we should get another ADC option for Armor Penetration

Reinboom Final PortraitWould you be willing to divulge your thoughts on this? 🙂

We actually had three in testing at one point (with a slightly different profile). The number of new items and item changes was overwhelming for quite a few people.

It’s much easier to add more when there’s a clear trade already established, so it’s open design space in the future. Before we decide to explore that space once more I would like to wait some time first for people to get used to all the current item changes.

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How do you plan on nerfing Essence Reaver if it becomes problematic

Reinboom Final PortraitWe’re not beholden to how ER is currently worded. One of the responses we’ve considered is dropping its bonus CDR from crit to cap when you have 30% crit from other items instead of just 20%. I feel like ER is strong but in the same way that IE is strong. If those two balance comparatively, then nerfing (or buffing) it will most likely entail changing both.

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Wont Thresh suffer too much with Last Whisper affecting Bonus Armor only

Reinboom Final PortraitIt potentially hurts him more than most other champions. There tends to be those types of hits with any type of systemic change. We can adjust after (such as tweaking Thresh) if it’s a problem.

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Doesnt Bloodthirsters shield conflict with the passive on Deaths Dance

Reinboom Final PortraitYes, they do compete. They’re also a bit antisynergistic in that way. Prevented damage (such as from shields) isn’t “caught” by Death’s Dance. Death’s Dance exists to favor fighters and caster marksmen over others (where natural lifesteal is less favorable).

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New Masteries Build Tips and Theory Crafting

Stashu Final PortraitHey all!

First, if you haven’t already, go check out this player-made mastery calculator! I’ll be using this tool to link pages. Special thanks to Hudzen, DPatti, and Pyro for their work on it over the seasons – you guys are all awesome.

 

Anyway, let’s get into it. I understand that the new mastery system can be hard to get a feel for, so I wanted to get a few template-esque pages out there to help get everyone started. So, check out the links and associated champions below, and let me know what you think about these recommendations! And of course, please share some pages of your own 😀

Note: These are only intended as guidelines and should be just enough to get you started — I’ll leave the real theory-crafting / optimizing to you guys! I DO NOT want to prescribe your build, and rarely will there be a single optimal build, but if you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed, feel free to lean on what’s here until you figure out your own way!


12-18-0 Aggressive Jungler

Elise, Kha’Zix and Lee Sin

  • These assassin types will love the pen and burst damage offered by the Cunning Tree [hello, Thunderlord’s Decree!], paired with the more general damage amps offered by the Ferocity Tree. Savagery and Runic Affinity from the Cunning tree also really help out in the jungle.
  • If the early clear proves to be too challenging (Evelynn), opting into a safer 0-18-12setup might be the way to go.

12-0-18 Brawler

Darius, Nasus and Olaf

  • These juggernauts really benefit from the Grasp of the Undying mastery in the Resolve Tree. It turns their already high-health builds into more damage and sustain, allowing them to slog through the fight, dishing out and soaking up tons of damage.

0-12-18 Peel Tank

Braum, Maokai and Nautilus

  • If soaking up damage for your allies is more your thing, check out Bond of Stone in the Resolve Tree, and pick up some self healing and mana regeneration so you can keep yourself topped off while you protect your carries!

0-18-12 Utility Support

Sona, Soraka and Janna

  • Windspeaker’s blessing in the Cunning Tree multiplies the power of these more buff/heal-centric supports. In addition, picking up Secret Stash and Meditation will give their lane some serious staying power.
  • That said, swapping those 12 points into Ferocity, and selecting Thunderlord’s Decree as your keystone will give you some potent trading potential in lane. I encourage you to choose based on your own playstyle and preference!

18-12-0 Sustained Damage Caster

Ziggs, Cassiopeia and Azir

  • When you’re not just trying to one-shot someone, Deathfire Touch and co. from the Feroicty Tree will really amp up your damage over long periods of time, and the mana regeneration from the Cunning Tree will give you the resources to make it work.
  • When you ARE looking to one-shot someone (I’m looking at you guys: Veigar, Zed and Lux) , I’d recommend 12-18-0 instead!

18-0-12 Marksman

  • Ferocity suits the playstyle of most marksmen — Lifesteal and %armor pen? Sign ’em up!
  • Certain champions will inevitably make better use of certain keystones, but Marksmen should be able to viably run any of these keystones, depending on their preferred playstyles.
    • Do you like to poke with spells? Check out Deathfire Touch on Varus.
    • Is harassing with basic attacks more your thing? You’ll enjoy Fervor of Battle on Caitlyn.
    • More into heavy Crit/AD builds? Warlord’s Bloodlust can shore up your lifesteal and attack speed so you can focus on your core stats on Draven.
    • Some marksmen might opt into something like 18-12-0 for maximum damage, but I find passing up the laning defenses in the Resolve Tree too costly, personally 😉

Alright! That’s all from me. I left out a number of archtypes, like the light-fighting skirmishers (Fiora and Vi) , bulky divers (Vi and Xin Zhao) , and many more. Plus, many champions will have particularly unique set-ups, based on their kit, so I encourage you to break out of the molds I outlined above!

 

Today’s fan art collection is a tad longer, enjoy!

 

Captain Fortune by Mariana Ennes:

tumblr_nxbgmrLTAI1th7sueo1_1280

 

 

Pool Party Leona by TiNyThanhTruc:

leona_pool_party_by_tinythanhtruc-d9f9smy

 

 

Sona by Knarf97:

sona___league_of_legends_by_knarf97-d9f8crz

 


Ahri by j-witless:

morning_ahri_by_j_witless-d9f9o87

 

 

Riven by Tu Tu:

otLDlrw

 


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

 

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TL;DR in featured comments.

 

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If Melee is so problematic, why is the Marksman class the only mandatory role in pro-play

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIt seems apparent to me that League wasn’t designed with melee carry as a viable alternative to a Marksman. We have melee carries in the game, but they fill sort of a questionable role at the moment.

I’m not saying that’s how League should be, but in terms of why there is a must pick Marksmen in most games, the answer is tradition.

If you ask me how League should be, that’s a much larger question that requires a big discussion. For starters, maybe it would be nice if players picked positions (top, middle, bottom, jungle) but not roles for those positions. Would players be ready for something like that? Is there benefit in having the tacit agreement that if you pick a Marksman, she’s probably going bot? Would you want to see games with two Marskmen or none at all? Does that sound exciting or destablizing?

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The meta has

Ghostcrawler New PortraitRight, something like that. The current melee = top etc. setup has been in place for so long that teammates will call you out if you’re “doing it wrong” and they will certainly report it to us as something broken. (The pros are often more adventurous in trying what works rather than what is expected.)

 

But there are definitely benefits in having an assumed configuration. It’s easier to coordinate a pickup team for example because you can infer a lot of position intent just from their role choice. The question is whether those benefits outweigh some amount of fatigue for every game ending up melee-top, mage-mid, ADC-bottom.

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Follow Up
Ghostcrawler New PortraitI’m not saying players are ignorant and choose ADCs because they don’t know any better and cling to tradition. I’m saying Riot has ended up supporting ADC mandatory bottom because it’s a relatively stable configuration of the meta. There is no reason that has to be the only configuration. It’s just the one we have traditionally used for at least the last couple of years.

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Support means a team role, a Champion type and a position

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe have discussed whether we should rename the role of support to something else (“utility?”) just to avoid the potential confusion there. So “support” would be a position, as you describe, when you share a lane but don’t go for CS, and could conceivably be performed by a melee like Alistar or a mage like Annie or a “role-formerly-known-as-support” like Sona.

It may cause more disruption just trying to change it though.

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LoL over the years has lost some of its replayability

Ghostcrawler New PortraitYes. This is exactly the sentiment we’re trying to improve for next season.

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Promo Series Banner


 

 

Promo Series should not exist and here’s why

Originally Posted by Lil Soybean View Post
Before we go on, let me ask you guys something honestly.
Recall the last time you reached a Series. Whether it be from Bronze IV to Bronze III, or Diamond II to Diamond I, it doesn’t matter – just think back to that time.

Now tell me, honestly – which of these two feelings were you leaning more towards?

1) Super excitement at how important these next matches are!
2) Extreme frustration at the possibility of feeders/trollers/AFK’ers in your following promo matches.


As I recall, it has been Riot’s stance in the past that they have Promo Series between divisions because it makes certain games feel more important and more exciting.
But with the end of the season coming up, I feel like one of the big changes for S5 should be removing the existence of Promotional Series.

Please, hear me out.

I honestly think the existence of Series is at the core for a lot of the games major issues. Trolls, feeders, AFKers, etc. would not be as harmful if Series didn’t exist, simply because they couldn’t completely ruin your work by forcing you to lose that one important series match. Toxicity and raging would be lessened in a similar way – if you’re super-anxious and frustrated because you’ve proved you deserved to be a rank up, but have to win a select few specific games in a Series just to actually go up that rank, then you’re more likely to rage/be toxic to people who don’t do well in that game. Why? Because the stakes are so much higher, for no good reason. Because you’re not just losing more LP from that one feeding botlaner, you’re losing your entire series. You’re not just losing more LP from that one ‘Diamond I Smurf Warwick Mid’. You’re losing your entire series.
While much of the player base is capable of handling these situations without resorting to toxicity, if a player is going to rage, it’s liable to be in that moment; when all of their hard work is crushed by one other allied player, because of the way Riot’s ‘Series’ System functions.

Another benefit of removing series is that it’d help destroy the concept of ‘ELO hell’, whether it exists or not, by making transition between divisions much smoother. Currently, a player could effectively win almost every single one of his games, but still be stuck in Bronze V because he had 1 or 2 AFKers on his team in each series. This situation is highly hypothetical and unlikely, but it isn’t unlikely that players are often screwed out of ranking up because of a troll/feeder/afker in their Promos. In fact, I’d say this probably happens a lot.

Last but not least, lag. Lag is obviously a major factor in winning or losing in a game like this, especially lately with all of the apparent DDOS attacks and major server lag spikes. The Loss Prevented system is helpful but we all know how unreliable it can be. Lose a game due to lag, lose full LP – win the next game, have your LP cut in half because of loss prevention? Those sort of issues. The biggest problem is that Loss Prevention doesn’t actually apply to series. Correct me if I’m wrong, but even if everyone in your game lags out and the servers are being DDOS attacked and Riot turns on Loss Forgiven, you’re STILL counted as having a ‘loss’ for that game in your Promo Series.

Basically, Promo Series increase the excitement of the game on a small scale, by making certain games more important. I believe Riot has specifically said this is their reason for wanting series in the game.

But that increase in ‘excitement’ comes at the cost of;
  • Increased stress & anxiety
  • Increased punishment from trolling teammates
  • Increased punishment from AFKing teammates
  • Increased punishment from feeding teammates
  • Increased toxicity
  • Increased rage
  • Increased belief in & rage over the concept of ‘ELO hell’
And finally, 

Increased factor of ‘random chance’ in determining your placement, rather than skill.

How is it worth it?

EDIT: An excellent compromise has been suggested. Keeping Promo Series only between ranks, but not between divisions. 
So, for example, there’d still be the increased stress & excitement of going from Platinum to Diamond, or even just Bronze to Silver – but you wouldn’t have to go through that stress for every division, between Bronze V, IV, III, etc.

 

Socrates New PortraitThanks for the feedback. A few of the reasons you called out for removing promos are issues that should be addressed across all ranked games and not just in promos. For example, whether you’re in promos or not, having somebody rage or AFK on your team isn’t a great experience. Also, lagging out in the middle of a ranked game whether you’re in promos or not totally sucks. 

We’ve been working with the player behavior team to create a more robust system to address behavior related issues in ranked. For example, we’re testing a feature on PBE called Ranked Restrictions that blocks players with a consistently negative behavior from playing ranked games. We will have more details to share on this in the coming weeks.

I’m not able to speak to lag issues in a super educated way, but I do know there is a team at work to address those issues. When we see connection issues, we enable compensation mode which forgives lost promos and lost LP, but still counts wins. This isn’t a perfect solution, but it does help shield players from a situation outside of their control.

One of the reasons you called out I disagree with. That is making ranked a more smooth experience. There is a bit more to series than just making the matches feel important and exciting. Division promotions reinforce the value of achieving competitive milestones. If we removed promotional series it would be easier to climb. In ranked easier doesn’t mean it’s strictly better though. Ranked play is about accepting the challenge of being measured by your skill. This is really what separates it from normals. Every change to make the system easier undermines what the accomplishments mean. What separates you from the players in lower tiers is not only the LP gains, but the series you fought through where you proved yourself and came out on top. 

If you consider the example you gave where a player is at the top of Bronze V and wins consistently, then fails to win his promos repeatedly, should he really qualify for Bronze IV? Probably not. If he’s going 1-1 assuming equal gains and losses he’s at 100 LP still. If he’s going 1-2 he’s lower than 100 LP, which is why LP can be lower after failing a series (especially in the case of going 0-2). There are a also number of safeties in place to ensure if you’re more than qualified to move on to the next tier you can either skip two tiers after completing your promos, or skip them entirely. If you’re in promos and not skipping it’s because the system isn’t confident enough in your skill to move you to the next tier yet.

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You can climb the ladder with winrate as low as 52

Socrates New PortraitThere is a misconception around this being true. In reality promotion series win rates are about ~47%.

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Win Streaks are counter-logical in SoloQ for a team game

Socrates New PortraitRanked solo isn’t for everybody, this is why it’s an opt in experience. Some players want to know how they measure up to the competition as an individual. It exists to serve this purpose. I challenge your assumption that solo queue position doesn’t reflect skill because it’s a team game though. Players consistently climb or fall to an accurate position on the ladder even after resets or when playing on alts. 

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Cass Rework Banner

Not familiar with Cassiopeia’s rework? Here’s the changelist.

 

 

If Twin Fang E lands on a dead target, will you be healed

STASHU New PortraitYes it should function in the improved way you describe here. If it’s not as forgiving as it needs to be, we can make it more so or less so as necessary. But yes, this problem was in the scope of these changes ;D

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You’re reversing Cassiopeia’s power curve and changing her

playstyle, when Cass players only wanted bugfixes

STASHU New PortraitGreat thinking here, you bring up a lot of interesting points. The ones I’m most interested in talking about are 1) 180 degree shift in play pattern , 2) that her damage is no longer reliant on her skill shots, and 3) that the update was just tacked on to bugfixes/reliability changes.

 


1) We tried to pay very careful attention to this one in our brainstorming. The reason the passive grants LOTS more stacks when hitting champions than minions/monsters is to preserve a lot of her old play pattern. That is, in order for lane bully Cassiopeia to be successful, she needs to land her abilities on her lane opponent carefully and frequently, and in order for scaling Cassiopeia to be successful, she needs to land her abilities on her lane opponent carefully and frequently. In terms of actual play pattern, not much has actually changed. The outputs (or, what her opponent notices) has changed a bit– Cassiopeia is less of a threat early in the game but more of a threat late game.

2) While her damage (number wise) will mostly come from her Twin Fang, she is entirely dependent on consistently landing Noxious Blast for both poison application and the movement speed to stay in range of Twin Fang. Miasma also helps her here, in much the same way.

So, where her damage is coming from in particular and at which points of the game her damage will be high arechanging, I think we’re preserving much of the traditional Cassiopeia play pattern.

3) So, I can definitely see how this update comes across as a misguided attempt at making a character ‘better’ for no good reason. I assure you, this is not the case! There were problems on Cassiopeia’s kit that, while not on the level of some other champions in the game, still needed to be addressed. Shurima and her texture update provided a great opportunity to do all of these things. I wont go deeply into the problems here, but they generally involve non-interactive lane bullying patterns, game-stalling, and problem with unsatisfying or under-appreciated DoTs (though, not by all people).

I hope all of this makes sense/seems fair. I also don’t seek to invalidate the concerns you expressed, as they are all certainly valid. I just wanted to provide some context on the changes and hopefully explain that there was a reason for everything. It’s true that all of this comes at costs, and as you explained, it may have left “her feeling like not-Cassiopeia for some people.” This is probably true for some people, and I’m sorry for that . However, in the end, I think Cassiopeia will still feel a lot like Cassiopeia in many of the ways that people love, express less problems than she has historically, and have a stronger identity overall. Time will certainly tell, and I promise to be around to make right anything that goes wrong.

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You’re turning Cassiopeia into a 2

STASHU New PortraitI could definitely see how some of the changes come across like this, but I’d have to disagree on a few points. Primarily, I think she has more of a kite pattern now than before, with her kiting tools having more power in their movementspeet related aspects and with her ult being more reliable.

I the end, it’s true, a lot of the math and comparison points for this update were ADCs, but I’m very confident that there are enough defining and distinct features in Cassiopeia’s gameplay (i.e, the way her kit comes together) to make her feel significantly different than ADCs.

As for mana, maintaining the mana to cast spells in lane should be very doable with some practice on priming minions with poison/basic attacks and last hitting them with E. If this turns out simply not to be true, then we’ll have to retune things accordingly.

I think we landed on a coherent kit that flows well, especially when you invest time into mastering it, so I encourage you to play around with it a bit. I really do hope that you enjoy it, as it definitely makes me sad to disappoint Cassiopeia players 

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Will Cassiopeia’s passive stack additively with Deathcap

STASHU New PortraitSo this is a little unclear, but the way these stack is as follows:

Base AP.
Aspect of the Serpent AP boost.
Archmage on top of Aspect of the Serpent AP boost.
Deathcap on top of Archmage and Aspect of the Serpent AP boosts.

So, the way the numbers break down, when both Deathcap and her passive are both giving 30% amped AP, Deathcap will actually be giving more, numerically, because it stacks on top of her passive.

Does that make sense?

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Why are you focusing her passive around farming

STASHU New PortraitIt’s not a farming passive D=. Well, it does include farming but…

The minion/monster farming part of the passive functions almost entirely as a fallback pattern. Though, it does come across as being the primary stacking mechanism. I found this very difficult to solve through messaging, but I assure you, if you crunch the numbers or just play enough games on her you’ll quickly realize that farming minions/monsters in hopes of stacking your passive is MUCH less efficient than hitting enemy champions with your abilities.

The minion/monster part of it is just so that when you can’t find any champions to fight, you have something to do to work towards your end goal. If this wasn’t the case, enemy champions could just play keep away all game and you’d get reallllly frustrated. That said, this is still an effective way of slowing down Cassiopeia, but at least she won’t be full-stopped.

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Suggestion Cassiopeia’s passive to evolve her spells

Cassiopeia gains a stack of Aspect of the Serpent 
for each second that an enemy champion is poisoned, 
for each poisoned unit that she kills and when she 
hits an enemy champion with Twin Fang, 
up to a max. of 400 stacks.

  • 75 STACKS: 5% increased ability power.
  • 150 STACKS: 10% increased ability power.
  • 225 STACKS: 15% increased ability power.
  • 300 STACKS: 20% increased ability power.
  • 350 STACKS: 25% increased ability power.
  • 400 STACKS: 30% increased ability power.

At start of the game, and for each milestone she will also get 
an evolution point. These points can be spent on 7 
different upgrades. She will eventually get every 
upgrade, but the order is completely player dependent.
(Sort of like how Kha’Zix evolves)

  • Twin Fang now heals for 6 / 8 / 10 / 12 / 16 (+ 10% AP).
  • 25% bonus cooldown reduction.
  • 15 (+ 2% AP) bonus flat movement speed.
  • +15 HP/lvl (+ 25% AP)
  • 150 bonus range to Noxious Blast
  • 3 second lower cooldown to Miasma

Latent Venom – 5% of the damage from her basic abilities will be
added as Latent Venom, which will then burst 4 seconds after
the last damage taken from these abilities, refreshing with every new
instance of damage. (Imagine a refreshing Zed ult)

 

STASHU New PortraitI have to say, this is super exciting. However, if the passive we landed on had complexity costs, boy does this one haha. It would be fun to try something more like this, but it would require implementing all sorts of new systems to work with evolving a trait from a pool of 7 and all sorts of stuff like that, which the game currently doesn’t support. Maybe this could be a cool project some time in the future, but seems unlikely for now.

That said, I like the way you think!

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Why did you give her power spikes at

STASHU New PortraitWe actually had a version like you describe in testing, and the first version of Cassiopeia to hit PBE did this smooth scaling for the AP bonus. However, neither tested well, as the incremental increases were simply unappreciable, and other bonuses are intended to come into effect at specific points in the game and not until then. The stack mechanism and numbers that we landed on solved all this pretty well.

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In teamfights, Cass will be using

STASHU New PortraitIt’s true, things might be overtuned. However, itemizing one large many item (seraphs or RoA, say) allows you to over come this pretty handily because of how valuable they make the mana restore. As you grow your mana pool, you grow the rate at which you recover it, which should mean that both Cassiopeia has more ‘ammo’ and takes less time to ‘recharge’ as the game goes on. 

But it’s true, we’ll have to see if the numbers are just a little off.

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Her ability icons should be updated as well

STASHU New PortraitTotally agree here, but sadly they are on the backburner for now (they are there, though).

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You should be responding to criticism of the rework

STASHU New PortraitYeah, this seems to be how everyone is reacting. I see that I replied to one particularly positive one, and can see how that drew some suspicion. Though, I believe the rest of my posts have largely been in response to dissenting opinions. Maybe I’m wrong here. If that’s the case, I’m really sorry, that wasn’t my intention =[

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Is her new passive adjusted for Dominion

SSTASHU New Portraithe has not been adjusted on alternate maps. We could take an awkward stab at the numbers and hope they are close, but we simply don’t have enough data on how she would perform on those maps to make an accurate guess. The levers are in place to adjust her accordingly (namely, the number for her breakpoints changing based on the map), so we should have an easy time adjusting her for the different maps as we get more information.

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There should be visible particles for her passive stages

STASHU New PortraitI totally agree with you on clarity. There should be some particles in to more accurately represent this, like a poison explosion around her when it happens and snakes spiraling around her for each tier she has hit.

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If you don't want to support alternate game types, why did Twisted Treeline get a Ranked queue

Lyte New PortraitA lot of players have mentioned that “indication of improvement” and Ranked as a measurement of skill might be key drivers of player growth, but I haven’t found that to be a compelling argument for a few reasons.

One, when we look at Normal Summoner’s Rift versus Ranked Summoner’s Rift, we can see that most players prefer to play Normal Summoner’s Rift (and that the queue has done really well over the course of time).

It may surprise some, but Ranked is not the the mode the majority of players play! Although I agree that some players would play Dominion more if there was progression and a measurement of skill in something like Ranked, to say that it would drive general player growth is a stretch because most players prefer not being faced with high-intensity, high-stakes games every time they play League.

In fact, depending on how you slice the data, it’s possible that removing MMR in Dominion/Normal Summoner’s Rift actually increased the engagement of these modes because you’re removing the constant “stakes” in each match. 



Regarding Twisted Treeline Ranked, in retrospect, it’s hard to say whether it was the right choice. As a games studio, I think it’s OK sometimes to admit mistakes, and try to learn from them. Game design and game development is really hard, and it’s pretty difficult to predict exactly how players will receive a new feature, system or queue. In the old days, it seemed obvious that we should open a Ranked version of Twisted Treeline, but did it actually damage the overall growth of Twisted? Did players get frustrated with the queue times and lopsided matches, and quit Twisted altogether? These are key questions that help us learn from the choices we make.

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ARAM succeeded because it was heavily advertized

Lyte New PortraitI intend on reading the full post, but am curious about this point. How do you explain the growth of ARAM when it was a Custom Game? This was before the blog post, before being able to queue for it, before any support at all.

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How about replacing Normal Draft Dominion with Ranked

Lyte New PortraitThis is another interesting data point. If there was a large number of Normal Draft Dominion players, you might be able to argue that most of these players would be interested in Ranked Dominion and that would be the “starting” playerbase of Ranked Dominion plus some additional group of incoming players. 

However, Normal Draft Dominion is completely unplayed and has never had any engagement. In fact, after reviewing the data, we should probably close Normal Draft Dominion completely.

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Has Dominion's population ever drastically

Lyte New PortraitI didn’t see any times when Dominion’s population drastically rose. However, the official release of Howling Abyss did reduce the numbers on Dominion. This could suggest that players that enjoy “alternative” maps that have different pacing prefer Howling Abyss to Dominion, and that these maps fill the same need for these players. I understand that some players might think of Dominion as a competitive map, but it might not be the majority opinion. For example, I bet there are some players that think Howling Abyss is a competitive map and would prefer to play Ranked Howling Abyss too–but, it’d be a far stretch to say the majority of players think that way.

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How has ARAM's popularity fared over time

Lyte New PortraitHowling Abyss has done really well over time. 

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How many players prefer Normals to Ranked Games

Lyte New PortraitUnfortunately, I can’t release the exact orders of magnitude, but the vast majority of players still prefer Normals compared to Ranked.

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How has Team Builder affected queue populations

Lyte New PortraitInterestingly, Team Builder hasn’t pulled much from the alternative maps like Dominion and Twisted Treeline. Team Builder has mainly split the Normal Blind Pick population, which is something we’re very sensitive to. We have some key design choices we want to make in Team Builder to make the queues as fast as Blind Pick, and want to see how these changes play out before discussing the replacement of Blind Pick. For example, we may run some experiments where we do have players only select Position and see if the experiences are just as positive, but queue times are much lower.

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Are players not punished after being reported in Dominion

Lyte New PortraitThis is false. Players aren’t immune in any mode.

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Any short-term solution to Bot accounts in Dominion

Lyte New PortraitYes, we’re working on a few short-term things to combat Bots in Dominion. Drevarius is a designer that has been working on that problem. As you might know, we usually don’t discuss anti-hacking or anti-botting measures because it typically is an arms race.

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Ranked gives legitimacy to modes and ups their popularity

Lyte New PortraitIntroducing Ranked Dominion might translate to an increase in the population that plays Normals, but the question is what the increase might be? Secondly, would the increase in Normal Dominion players be enough to compensate and overcome the pull that Ranked Dominion would have on current Normal Dominion players? 

As an aside, realistically, turning on new queues isn’t as simple as flipping switches. Rioters might have trivialized this in the past, but as someone directly involved in Team Builder, new queues require continuous monitoring and maintenance by a team.

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Master Tier now live on NA

Socrates New PortraitHey all, with the launch of Master Tier Diamond players may notice some changes to their LP gains and losses. Here’s what is going on in these cases:

* The top 200 challenger spots were protected by a concept called ‘clamping’ before Master Tier was introduced. This ensured the top 200 dudes on the server had both the highest LP and MMR. This greatly slowed gains and losses, making small gains appear normal. Removing clamping means gains (both up and down) are more fluid now. Since in some cases clamping was actually protecting players from falling down too quickly, these players will see some larger losses and smaller gains until they’re back where the system expects them to be.

* In other tiers (bronze – plat) league standing is a very accurate mapping of player skill, but there is a buffer to slow players LP losses temporarily if they start to go on a losing trend. Since clamping was removed, but challenger and master must contain the very best players, the loss shielding is thinner in diamond than other tiers. In other words, gains and losses can feel more swingy.

Gains should become more stable over time. We’ll be monitoring how LP changes stabilize over the next few days and evaluating if we need to make adjustments or not based on the results.

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Patch Rundown – 4 16

Want to check Patch 4.16’s notes? Here’s a link:

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

 

 

News Update August 27 Banner

 

Summary

Meddler continues the Q&A on the newly released on the PBE Champion, Azir, going over how his kit interacts with turrets, the mechanics of his ult and lots more. Lyte announced a new feature of the Tribunal: restrictions and bans for intentional feeding and elaborated with Neurocat on how the system will differentiate between players who have bad games and players who play to ruin other people’s games. Over on the community beta forums, we have a confirmation that bought accounts will be permabanned when they’re found out and another announcement of a system that will be coming to the PBE – Ranked restrictions.

 

Recent News

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QA on Azir Part 2 Banner

 

Part 1 of Azir Q&A:

 

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What happens if Malphite or Nocturne try to ult past Azir’s wall

Meddler New PortraitChampions who are in an unstoppable dash/leap will go through the wall (Malphite, Noc, Hecarim, Vi, J4 etc).

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Can you W+E to an enemy and then push them backwards with the ult

Meddler New PortraitIt’s possible, the timing’s going to take some practice to pull off given the ranges involved though.

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Does the Sun Disc passive scale with any stat

Meddler New PortraitLike other towers its stats go up with game time. Intent is to also have its damage scale slightly with Azir’s AP, though I can’t recall if we’ve got that in for the build that’ll hit PBE soon or not.

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Is the passive cooldown applied to a ruin, or is it internal

Meddler New PortraitThe CD’s on Azir himself (think of it like Anivia’s passive for example).

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Can an enemy use Ohmwrecker's active on his passive turret

Meddler New PortraitThey’ll be able to by the time he gets released, we haven’t hooked that functionality up to Ohmwrecker yet though.

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Does his passive have any use if Azir’s team is winning

Meddler New PortraitYou can also use it on enemy tower ruins (take their outer tower, place your own, siege their inner etc).

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How long do the passive turrets last

Meddler New PortraitCurrently one minute if not taking damage from any other source (their health gradually decays over time).

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Will his tower give true sight like regular towers

Meddler New PortraitIt will! It also gets the other tower effects too (more Armor/MR when no enemy minions around etc).

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Azir seems too focused on split-pushing

Meddler New PortraitWe’re still playing around with exactly how Azir interacts with enemy towers and will be trying out a couple more things before his release, some of which you may see on the PBE. Having him be able to threaten towers is something we’d like, being a strong split pusher without sufficient counterplay or role elsewhere on the other hand isn’t.

 

One version of what that might look like we’ve been talking about is a kit where his soldiers can’t attack towers directly for example but can instead be sacrificed to deal a burst of damage to a tower, giving him some anti power potential but in exchange for temporarily reduced capability to push, team fight, maneuver.

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Can the passive be active on more that one ruin at a time

Meddler New PortraitOne passive tower up at a time, followed by a long CD.

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Is the ult cast behind Azir, like Thresh’s Flay

Meddler New PortraitThe ult appears a bit behind Azir and then pushes forwards in the direction of the cast.

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Does Arise W replace his auto attacks

Meddler New PortraitThe soldier auto attacks do indeed replace his if there’s a soldier in range of his target (if not he’ll use his own auto attack, which isn’t as strong). Soldiers scale with AP.

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Will Disc of the Sun prioritize targets like regular turrets

Meddler New PortraitSame target picking logic as regular towers and yes, physical damage.

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How did the idea for his passive come about

Meddler New PortraitCombination of thematics (tie in to Azir’s backstory, not sure if that’s out yet so I’m being vague on the details) and a new gameplay space we wanted to explore more (moments of power at specific map locations).

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Could you explain how the other part of the passive work

Meddler New PortraitSame as something like Singed passive – Azir gains bonus AS based on the amount of CDR he has (bonus, not conversion).

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Can enemy Champions still blink over Azir's wall

Meddler New PortraitBlinks are not affected by Azir’s ult.

Having other champion created terrain also block dashes/jumps is not something we’re intending to do at present, those abilities are explicitly creating terrain, with all the usual play and expectations around that, and are either on much shorter CDs than Azir’s ult or come with multiple other effects.

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Is there a visual indicator that his passive can be used

Meddler New PortraitThere is, it’s a glowing visual effect on tower ruins, visible to all players.

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What about Vayne's Tumble

Meddler New PortraitIf a champion moves/is moved using an ability Azir’s ult will stop their movement unless:

1. The ability gives the caster unstoppability (e.g. Malph ult or Vi ult) or
2. The ability has no travel time and, on completion, changes the champion’s position all in one go (e.g. Ezreal’s E or Elise’s Spider E)

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Bans for Feeding Banner

 

 

Detecting and banning extreme Intentional Feeders

Lyte New PortraitHey everyone,

As some of you may have heard, the Tribunal is a system that addresses many types of player behaviors but is currently in extended maintenance while we upgrade a lot of the core functionality. You can read more about it here:http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/new…ading-tribunal

In the meantime, we’ve launched several test systems that have begun aggressively reducing negative player behaviors in League of Legends including a system with the ability to instantly escalate high severity behaviors such as excessive verbal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and worse to a 14-day or permanent ban. After several weeks of testing in North America, we are now ready to start these tests on the European servers. We’ll continue to monitor the results of these tests as we prepare to roll them out in other regions.

The reason I’m here today though, is because while these systems are effective at reducing negative verbal behaviors in League, we’ve been working on ways to address negative gameplay behaviors in League.

Starting 8/26/2014 in North America, we’ll be rolling out a test system capable of immediately escalating extreme intentional feeders straight to a 14-day or permanent ban. Like our other punishment systems, we’ll start with conservative tests to minimize false positives, and then expand the system to be more aggressive. As with our other experiments, depending on the results, we’ll roll out similar tests to the other servers.

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How will you differentiate between feeders and legitimately bad players

Neurocat New Portrait We’re taking into account a large number of different variables, which should properly distinguish between the two. Minimizing false positives is really important for a system like this, where the line between poor play and intentional feeding can be blurry.

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Why wasn’t this system implemented sooner

Lyte New PortraitWe’ve been working on several systems in parallel and depending on the various design and tech challenges, some features are easier to do than others.

For intentional feeders, many players tend to confuse intentional feeding with just playing a poor game, so there’s a lot of nuance to figuring out when an offense is actually intentional feeding and deserving of a punishment.

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Will the system punish players who are just having a bad day

Lyte New PortraitNeither system relies just on reports. There are multiple checks in systems to minimize false positives, which is why there are very few players that get punishments when they do not deserve it.

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But the system could take a 0

Lyte New PortraitWe’re happy to dive into details when some initial tests are complete, but players have nothing to “fear.” We’ve seen billions of games of data of what a bad, outrageously bad, and crazy once in a lifetime bad game looks like, and are willing to give players huge benefit of the doubt in a system like this.

If you are banned by these types of systems, it’ll be very clear why.

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If I’m dying a lot as Singed, will I still be punished

Lyte New PortraitDon’t worry, it’s not just about dying. There’s numerous factors that go into determining what’s an intentional feeder.

I posted a relevant response on Reddit recently:

Our #1 concern is separating intentional feeders from players just having a bad game. We have access to billions of games worth of data, and can easily see for every player, every champion, every role, what the variations in the data are.

For example, what are the average game stats (gold per minute, actions per minute, kills/deaths/assists per minute, etc) for you in a game when you play Ashe? What are the average game stats for an Ashe of your skill level? What is the worst game you’ve had so far on Ashe? By analyzing huge datasets like this, we can begin to figure out what is a bad game (even if it’s a once in a lifetime bad game) versus someone intentionally out to ruin a game.

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Why are you working on intentional feeders and not AFKers

Lyte New PortraitWe do have a system in the works to aggressively attack Leavers and AFKs. We’re just not ready to talk about it yet as it’s a ways out.

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Bought accounts will be permabanned

WookieeCookie New PortraitBuying accounts is strictly against the Terms of Use. Not only that, but it’s really silly given that we can easily track it and ban it. Even worse, I doubt the person you purchased the account from is going to be willing to give you a refund, unfortunately your pain is their gain.

But hopefully the lesson learned here can help other players who might be tempted to do the same thing. Buying accounts is wrong and we’ll permanently close them without any exceptions. Not only do they create the opportunity for fraud, but they are frequently leveled with 3rd party modifications or scripts which ruin the games for other players who are trying to enjoy our game legitimately.

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Ranked Restrictions

Socrates New PortraitHey all,

For a while now, the Competitive and Player Behavior teams have been working together to develop ways to improve the quality of the ranked play experience, and we’re now ready to test a new feature on PBE. This experiment involves a feature called Ranked Restrictions. Negative players will have their in-game chat restricted, and also be temporarily prevented from joining ranked queues entirely.

In this test, restricted players will be unable to play ranked until they’ve completed a certain number of games in Normal Draft queue. As with Chat Restrictions, after finishing the predetermined number of games, we’ll perform a final evaluation to make sure they’ve actually improved their in-game behavior. (This is to prevent negative players from merely transferring their negative behavior to another queue, AFKing for 5 games, and then jumping right back into ranked).

Since this is a test, we’re looking for volunteers to be Chat and Ranked restricted on PBE. If you have current PBE access and would like to participate, please email lyte@riotgames.com to join in.
As always, thanks for helping us with the PBE, and GLHF!

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

 

 

News Update August 16 Banner

 

Summary

Socrates announced on forums that Master Tier will soon be coming to the PBE and an explanation on how it will work, Solcrushed shared a direction for Viktor’s Rework and what the updates will be focused on, Tiki details work that needs to be done before the Summoner’s Rift update can be released on live servers and Lyte answers why 2-week bans and permabans are necessary in certain cases.

TL;DR here!

 

Recent News

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Master Tier on PBE Banner

 

 

Master Tier coming to PBE, details

Socrates New PortraitHey all,

We take ranked competition seriously. At the end of last season, immunity in challenger tier caused issues with transparency around ranked standings. This season we’re making some improvements to address these issues in the form of a new ranked challenge we’re calling Master Tier. We’ll be turning off all non-ranked queues over the weekend on PBE to give it a test run.

Master Tier sits between Challenger and Diamond 1. Players in Master and Challenger will share the same LP scoring ladder, however the only time it’s possible to move between the two tiers is at a set time once every twenty-four hours. When the clock strikes zero, any player from Master Tier among the Top 200 players on the server by League Points will be promoted to Challenger. Any player from Challenger below this threshold will be relegated to Master.

While there’s no hard player limit to Master Tier, players will be demoted after they have played more than 3 games in the tier if they lose a game that puts them below 0 LP. Players in Diamond 1 will see much more predictable LP gains and losses following this change.

At the outset we won’t be seeding any players directly in Master Tier. Players who reach their promotion series at the top of Diamond 1 will enter Master Tier if they are successful. Players in Challenger will remain in their current position, but the competition kicks off right away so ambitious players will be fighting to achieve Master Tier and wrestle away Challenger spots even on the first day.

For inactivity, we’ve slightly loosened the rules in Challenger so instead of instantly being demoted after becoming inactive, Challenger players will lose 250 LP for each day of inactivity after the 10th day. This will give high tier players a little more leeway in terms of inactivity while still maintaining the standard of being an active player for being showcased as one of the best competitors in the region.

Lastly, at the end of the season we’re going to be introducing differentiated season reward summoner icons for high-performing players in Challenger Tier. This is to better recognize the difference in accomplishments of achieving the top 10, 50 or 200 spots in solo queue as well as the top 3, 15 and 50 spots in team queues.

We’re excited to see who will rise as the season heads towards the finish line. Good luck on the Fields of Justice!

Riot Socrates

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Do I have to play Ranked on the PBE to be promoted to Master

Socrates New PortraitYou’ll have to play to earn master, although the thresholds are very low atm for entry on PBE.

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The Truer Evolution - Viktor Gameplay Update

Solcrushed New PortraitVER1.1 as of 8/15

I will continue to edit the original post as I go on my diabolical quest of stringing you along with hints


Coming soon near you the Truest Evolution circa 2018.

Bad jokes aside, I’m here to start giving you guys some more info regarding the upcoming Viktor gameplay update.

AS ALWAYS THINGS CAN CHANGE IN DEVELOPMENT

The update will be focused on the passive, Q and R. With some of the augment effects changing.

You said a week ago that R was not going to be changed!

Yeah I lied. (We wanted to change the R originally but had trouble coming up with a good paradigm within our constraints, that has now been resolved)

So onwards,

Some of you may have seen the screenshot of the ultimate Hex Core I posted earlier, that is indeed the current passive direction.

Viktor will be able to upgrade his  Core multiple times, gaining stats and augmenting his abilities each time.

He will ultimately reach a point where he is able to augment ALL of his basic abilities, finishing his Glorious Evolution and acheiving perfection.

The stats on the Core may change as we go through balancing, but we are very set on making this the single highest AP item in the game (excluding Deathcap, Seraph’s, Mejai’s passive effects ofc). The Hex Core is the source of Viktor’s powers and it should feel POWERFUL.


So we have Viktor’s Q on live. It’s a spell that is intended for Viktor to deal sustained damage while his big guns are on cooldown.

Also helps him survive a little bit better with the shield and if you have the augment, opens up kiting and repositioning.

But at the end of the day, it is not a really interesting spell. Especially if you don’t augment it.

The weirdest part of Viktor’s Q is that it is the shortest of his spells by a large margin. By the time you are using Q, your other spells are presumably on cooldown.

So what are you getting the shield and speed boost for? “To run away” is a valid answer I guess, but having a spell that only works in a specific situation (and not being particularly powerful) is not ideal.

In lane you autoattack after you get the shield for marginal benefit, in teamfights they are worth even less. Well?

(If you love the effects as much as I do please give a shoutout to the talented Riot Kesyerito! Yeah I know his naming skills are kinda suspect but the man knows his particles)

The initial Q will have higher range, but the benefits will be focused on the utility than the damage. As for the damage part? See the above image

Wait you want me to buy Lich Bane on him?

It’s a good thing the Hex Core has ridiculous amounts of AP no?

Oh btw, the Q augment is currently the same. It’s the only one that has carried over atm.

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Any alternative roles that Viktor will be able to fill

Solcrushed New PortraitAs of right now, top seems definately viable, support on the other hand not so hot. (IM NOT PROMISING THAT HE WILL BE A VIABLE TOP WHEN HE RELEASES)

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What's keeping the Summoner's Rift update from going live

Tiki New PortraitHey all! Wanted to get back to you about this 

There are a few things we’re still working on to make sure it’s great for players:

1. Bugs: Gotta make sure these are worked out. As CynicalGiant said, it’s gonna be played by lots of players so we have to make sure it works. Players on PBE have been helping us identify and destroy evil bugs! So thanks all 

2. Performance: Similar to the point above we want to make sure this performs just as well or better than the current SR does for as many players as possible. We don’t want people to have to upgrade to play.

3. Addressing player feedback. I’ve been working with the Summoner’s Rift Update team to collect feedback about the map in development from players in multiple regions. Some really good feedback coming in related to creatures, tone and specific areas on the map. Again, fixing helps us make sure it’s awesome for as many players as possible.

4. Making visuals totally sweet: We’re psyched you think it’s looking good, and the artists are pouring their hearts into it looking for ways to make it look better. Some of it’s stuff like fixing weird shadows and seams, and then there’s still room to push the quality higher on individual areas as well.

So yeah, that stuff above! Definitely feel free to post questions and feedback, happy to chat with you about it!

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Release date, work left to be done

Tiki New PortraitRelease date: In all honesty this has not been set, I wish I could give you an exact date or anything close to it, but it’s kind of a double-edged sword. Even with it getting closer and closer to the level of quality we want to deliver, lots of things can happen in dev. The last thing anyone on the team wants to do is set an expectation and end up letting you all down. 

Stuff looks not-done: Yeah, some areas still need work quite frankly and it’s good to hear any and all thoughts on places you all think could use some love. Ground plane (bases included) in a few areas still need to brought up to the level of some of the other areas so it feels cohesive in quality and style.

The duck…. there is no duck. There is only Gromp in all its froggy majesty.

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What audio updates can we expect to the new Rift

Tiki New PortraitWe’ve already got some audio stuff in, but this is isolated to the creatures for now. They’ve all come with new sound effects. Other audio, like background music, is trickier. Partly because where it happens in the dev process, and also partly because of the sheer impact it has on the map. Some players play with music off, but a number don’t and the music of Summoner’s Rift, in my opinion, is both iconic and has a huge impact on the feel of the map. Any changes we make to that have to convey Summoner’s Rift, so we’re being really careful about how we approach any changes to the music.

Special interactions with champions aren’t planned as far as I know, at least not as part of the team working directly on the map. However the champ team is doing a lot of cool stuff with new contextual champ to champ interactions… Demagglio!!!

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Will you be able to switch between both purple

Tiki New PortraitI know this has been a big issue on the forums elsewhere, and I don’t want to dodge it, but I’m also not the person most qualified to answer. What I do know is that there are sooooooooo many implications for changing default view and/or player control over it. 

Personally, I think a swappable view might create a number of problems. I’m also happy to admit that I’m not fully clear on why some players really want the change. Would love to hear your thoughts on it.

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Why not let us test the new Rift to see if it runs well

Tiki New PortraitThis is one of the big parts of testing going on with PBE right now. We’re essentially trying to gauge how it performs on different spec machines. It’s pretty impossible to predict how it will work on every machine, but things are trending pretty well in terms of performance on most machines. We’re also curious about perception of performance and how it feels. Do things seem to play the same? It’s just as important in my mind.

As far as the actual rollout, that’s still being worked out. Lots of different ways to bring it out!

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Big Update on topics around the new Rift

Tiki New PortraitMorning all (for the west coasters anyway!)

Will cover a few things here!

– Camera + blue/red: Thanks for the context on that, made for some good reading last night and this morning and I think I understand where you’re coming from in regards to player pain on the purple side. As for the best way to solve it, I’m not sure. Swappable camera angle has some pretty big impacts ranging from the way the art looks (as one person mentioned) to how we deal with spectating matches, to disruption from what has been the norm for a while now. This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t do anything about it, mostly I’m not sure what the best solution is and considering all the implications of making a change, we’d have to be extremely confident in whatever choice we made.

– Spawn animations: Yep, these are only viewable right when a creature would normally spawn and we’ve back-timed them so creatures are targetable the exact moment they currently are on live. Since there are now moments during spawn where a creature is untargetable we’re working pretty hard to make sure it’s super clear when a creature is targetable vs. untargetable.

– Older champions: I have experienced this pain myself and it will definitely impact some champs harder than others  We’ve actually got a separate team that is doing tons of work to update the visuals on a number of older champ models and they’re working with the updated Summoner’s Rift in mind. So basically we’re already doing this, but there’s still a lot of champs to work through.

– Color blindness: This is absolutely on our radar in terms of making things look right on the map. Not sure what the final solution will be, but it also ties into clarity concerns around easily distinguishing friends from enemies….and frenemies. Got a pretty solid team of visual designers and user experience guys helping us through this space. If you are color blind and have a chance to view the map or play on it please please give us feedback on this!!

– Computer specs: For the higher end computers, I’m not sure honestly. I don’t expect work will stop on the updated rift once it goes to live, that will just be the point at which we believe the quality and health of the map is in a place to meet everyone’s high expectations and deliver solid value to you all. Our primary concern for now though is making sure it runs as well on players’ machines as the current map does.

– Regional: This hasn’t been talked about much but I wanted to point out that we’re also trying to collect a lot of international feedback on this. This will impact players all over the globe when it comes out and we want to mindful of players everywhere.

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Why did you replace the red Lizard buff monster

Tiki New PortraitSo this is a question close to my heart because it gets to the deeper question of “What defines Summoner’s Rift for everyone?”. I do agree that Lizard is sentimental, and that we took a risk on changing it to something different – BUT I think the new creature is pretty sweet looking and matches the style & feel of the map well. I also think the new creature is more representative of the significance of the buff it conveys. Curious to know what you all think about the new red buff and other creatures!

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Have you changed geometry

Tiki New PortraitWe have kept the core geometry of the map the same other than addressing a few weird bugs. So you should be able to flash exactly as you did before. That is not to say that perception of wall width isn’t a thing, we’ve been pretty careful to make sure things still seem flashable if they were before. Weirder cases are where we made it look more accurate to the underlying geometry and that altered perception (positively or negatively) around whether a thing was flashable… even though the core geometry is unchanged.

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When you update the neutral monsters

Tiki New PortraitThanks for reposting. Honestly I’m not sure! I will bring that up with the team. I could see it going either way, but I kind of like the thought of keeping the old icons and just making new ones. Creates a sense of continuity and evolution for those who have been playing for a while!

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Will the update fix ward vision in brushes

Tiki New PortraitThis is something we’re definitely looking at. We’re not happy with the clarity of bushes right now, so we’re experimenting with different solutions to make it easier to see what’s going on. If you guys have any suggestions toss them in here!

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Purpose of Bans Banner

 

 

14-day permabans are for people Riot don’t wish to play LoL

Lyte New PortraitUnfortunately, this player is saying the truth. For most players, we’ll try to use reform approaches such as warnings and chat restrictions.

For players getting 14-day or permanent bans, we’re no longer confident they are willing to improve their behaviors even if they are shown explicit, direct feedback. So, we’d prefer these players take their time elsewhere.

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False. This is a new, automated system.

Lyte New PortraitAll systems have multiple checks and balances. No systems are fully automated, especially when we’re dealing with harsher punishments.

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

 


PBE 29 April

 

Previous PBE Updates from Patch 4.7 Cycle:


 

Updated Dragonslayer Pantheon – Model & Sound

 

 

Dragonslayer Ward

Dragonslayer Ward

AllStars Ward

AllStars Ward

 

 

Nautilus New Portrait

 

Staggering_BlowStaggering Blow [ Passive ]  

  • Effect cannot trigger on the same target for 9 seconds, decreased from 12

 

 

Vladimir New Portrait

 

Sanguine_PoolSanguine Pool [ W ]

  • Now heals Vladimir for 15% of the damage dealt, increased from 12.5%

 

 

Items

 

Feral_Flare_item Feral Flare

  • Attack Speed decreased from 35% to 25%
  • Attack damage reduced from 15 to 10
  • Base Damage when initially transformed decreased from 33 to 25

 

Madred's RazorsMadred’s Razors

  • Attack speed decreased from 15% to 12%
  • Unique: Maim damage reduced from 60 to 50

 

Wriggle's_Lantern_itemWriggle’s Lantern

  • Attack Speed decreased from 30% to 25% and Attack Damage reduced from 12 to 10
  • Maim damage to monsters decreased from 100 to 75
  • Stacks toward Feral Flare are now granted for kills and assists, too

 

 

Socrates Team Rewards

Ranked teams are finally getting some love! Win games as 5 and get a neat ward skin at the end of Season 4.

 

 

Socrates Button Rioter Socrates: We’re currently testing an updated Leagues page that shows both your list of current leagues and your progress towards end-of-season rewards. You’ll also notice that we’ve added unique summoner icons as a reward for the highest tier achieved in 3v3 and 5v5 as well as added a new class of Team Rewards, unlockable based on the number of wins you attain in Ranked 3s and 5s over the course of the season. The Team Reward is a ward skin that you can unlock and upgrade as you earn more wins, awarded at the end of the season.

FAQ

Q: Why are you introducing these new rewards?

  • Previously, we’ve given end-of-season rewards based exclusively on the highest tier players reached across the various ranked queues. Since ranked teams require more effort to coordinate and place a special focus on teamwork and collaboration, we’ve decided to introduce a new reward system specifically for ranked teams.

Q: Do I have to play on a single team to earn wins towards rewards?

  • Nope, you can be on as many teams as you want.

Q: Do ranked 3v3 games count towards wins?

  • Yes, they will count for 1 point towards rewards (5v5 counts for 3).

Q: Do I lose the wins I’ve earned if somebody kicks me off a team?

  • Nope, you will retain your wins.

Q: If I meet the requirements for rewards, when do I receive them?

  • All rewards will be distributed at the end of the season.

Q: Do wins I earned before the feature launched count towards rewards for this season?

  • Yes, all games that take place during the 2014 season will count towards season rewards.

 

 

Will we retain our Victorious Ward from Season 3?

 

Socrates Button Rioter Socrates: The ward skin from Season 3 will be retained for anybody who earned it last season. We’ve moved the ward skin for this season to be a reward for team play, so there won’t be a ward skin for tier achievement. The other skill tier rewards (victorious skin, borders, etc) will still be earned based on your maximum achieved tier.

 

 

The Origin of Poros

Got any questions about Poros? Drop them here and enjoy the story of the creative minds that brought them to you!

 

 

Poro

 

Riot PreetiButton Rioter RiotPreeti: In honor of the Howling Abyss’ upcoming one year anniversary, we’re opening our art vaults and delving into the mysterious and magical origins of the map’s most-loved inhabitants: poros! RiotOtown, RiotEarp, and RiotCaptainLx have emerged from the art pit to shed some light on the adorable furballs and tell us how they brought them from concept to life!

 

First off

 

We’re on the environment team! RiotOtown’s a lead environment artist, RiotEarp’s a concept artist, and RiotCaptainLx is a senior animator. We’re just a few of the many creative minds that designed the Howling Abyss!

 

Poro Sketches 1

 

Where did

 

 While wrapping up the Howling Abyss, the entire team was on the lookout for something to balance out the Abyss’ cold, serious atmosphere. Unlike our other maps, the Howling Abyss had a very structural, linear cadence–it was literally a bridge without any fantasy elements, which didn’t feel very League. To counter this, the whole team brainstormed about cute and fun things we could add that would remain true to League and not take away from the map’s epicness. It was sort of tricky because whatever we added had to be noticeable without being too distracting–we didn’t want players confusing our little critter for a minion or monster they should kill!

 We wanted to create something furry that looked like it could survive through harsh weather, so RiotEarp looked to mountain goats, reindeer, and polar bears for inspiration. He sketched the initial poro concept art based on a cuter version of all of those things and we ran with it! Howling Abyss is the coldest and harshest place in all of Runeterra, so you can think of poros as the manifestation of whatever warmth, happiness, and love that still exists.

 After RiotOtown modeled and textured the very first poro, he and RiotCaptainLx decided to add a super huge tongue because the little guy reminded them of a puppy. Then, during the animation phase, RiotCaptainLx took it a step further and had the poro lick its whole face in one shot! With the tongue mechanic in place, he also animated the poro to run around panting with its tongue hanging out. We totally agreed that poros should pant just like that–they radiate with love, so they’re extremely hot despite the Abyss’ bone-chilling temperatures!

 

Poro Sketches 2

 

How'd you decide

 

 RiotCaptainLx needed a name for the animation file that went up on the Public Beta Environment (PBE), so we tossed around a few options until we decided on poro, the Finnish word for reindeer. It sounded cute! It was supposed to be temporary, but we were stuck with it thanks to a small oversight on our part. Basically, a player posted online that he’d discovered the file name after pinging a poro in-game on the PBE. Players liked it, we liked it… so we kept it.

 

How long did

 

About eight hours from concept to in-game on PBE. No joke. We never expected poros to become so popular or we probably would’ve overthought them!

 

Poro Sketches 3

 

What else can you

 

Hmmm…let’s go over some fun tidbits!

  • Poros are equal parts truth, valor, and innocence
  • The color that best describes poros is “very light blue, like Freljordian snow” (Pantone P 121-3 U)
  • Poros have a heart-shaped underbelly because they’re made of love
  • A poro’s horns perk up when it’s excited and droop down when it’s scared
  • Poros paddle through deep snow with their front paws
  • Some believe that poros are indestructible–though at one point we animated poros to keel over and twitch if they ran into the Abyss’ fountains
  • Poro-Snax are frosted with Freljordian ice crystals
  • Due to recent heroic deeds, Braum is a friend to the poros

 

Porobizkit

 

Born out of love, blinded by glee;

Innocent, pure, magic and free,

Faithful, trusting; often naïve,

Soft, furry; their hearts hold a key.

 

 

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