Archive

Posts Tagged ‘sona rework’

 

News Update July 29 Banner

 

 

Summary

Following Gnar’s teaser promo-site yesterday, Meddler addresses some spoiler-free questions like the Champion’s intended role, who’s worked on him and how to pronounce his name. Moving on, Lyte discusses the long-rejected Prisoner Island system, which pits toxic players, leavers and so on in a separate environment. Game designer Fearless apologizes for the lack of communication on Sona’s rework and explains why auras need to remain short-ranged. Lastly, a Skin recolor survey surfaced on Reddit.

 

Recent News

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Discussion on Gnar Banner

 

 

Can we have some hints about Gnar’s kit

 

 

You stated Gnar will be a top laner

Meddler New Portrait We believe top lane’s where Gnar’s going to be played most due to the way his kit functions, though we’ve tested him in other roles too of course. As with any new release though that’s just an estimate of course – internal testing’s no substitute for the millions of games that’ll get played once a champion’s out that really dig into how they’re best played.

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How do you pronounce “Gnar”

Meddler New PortraitSilent G.

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Do you think Gnar can handle Ranged champions on top lane

Meddler New PortraitWe’ll get into kit discussion pretty soon, don’t want to give any details away before the rest of the reveal stuff comes out though .

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Is Gnar the Champion Gypsylord and CertainlyT worked on

Meddler New PortraitBoth Gypsylord and I have done gameplay design work on Gnar. Gypsylord’s definitely done more of the work than I have though, particularly in the later parts of Gnar’s development (most of my hands on contributions were in the earlier stages). CertainlyT’s currently focused on another champion that’s earlier in the production process.

Important to point out here though that gameplay design’s just a piece of what goes into a champion however. A wide range of people are part of making a character like this (animators, visual effects artists, modellers, producers, QA, 2D artists, sound designers, writers, software engineers, playtesters from a wide range of disciplines etc) – gameplay design’s just one piece of the puzzle.

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Has Gnar been in production for a long time

Meddler New PortraitYeah, initial concept work on him started early last year. We figured a bunch of stuff out, then put him on ice for a while until we were ready to get him into the full production process.

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Is Gnar from the Freljord like Braum

Meddler New PortraitGnar does not currently reside in the Freljord (although that does not discount him possibly being “from” it). Honestly, I doubt he even has any understanding of what a “Freljord” is.

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Prisoner Island Banner

 

 

Why haven’t you tried a “Prisoner Island” punishment system

[ Clarity ] The “Prisoner Island” system puts toxic players / AFK-ers in a separate queue from the rest of the player base.

Lyte New PortraitHey Arkon Tri,

The reason I haven’t dug into this is because we’ve discussed why these designs aren’t suitable for League (or many other games) in the past. Some other players have mentioned this, but you’re basically suggesting a concept called “Prisoner’s Island,” where you pair players with similar reputations together. 

There’s a lot of nuances to low priority queue or Prisoner’s Island systems; for example, you can use low priority queue systems for behaviors like Leaving/AFK. These behaviors are binary–players know they either left a game or not, and there’s no subjectivity to the behavior. However, when you’re dealing with behaviors like verbal abuse, intentional feeding or negative attitude, it’s far more subjective. Some players will get placed into low priority queue systems for these behaviors and vehemently disagree that they belong there–you’ll basically get a lot of, “What the? All these people in low priority queue are toxic, why am I here?

In these cases, a lot of players (mainly those without purchased content) will simply make new accounts to re-enter the ecosystem with a neutral reputation rating. If these players do that, you’ve basically banned a player but used a complicated, time-consuming system to do so.

Secondly, a common issue with these designs is how you score new players. Do you score them in neutral priority, and force them to have worse matches than the “positive” players? This isn’t ideal, because generally you want your new players to have the best game experience. You obviously can’t start new players with 0 or negative reputation, as that’d be a negative experience. If you start new players with a positive reputation, then it gives toxic smurfs an easy way to ruin games at low levels while also further encouraging them to just start new accounts if they ever end up with negative reputation.

We’ve talked about a lot more reasons in the past, but Prisoner’s Island has basically been a concept for over 5 years and we know that it only works well with binary behaviors that are not subjective.

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If players in the “Prisoner Island” wish to reform, they’ll move up

Lyte New PortraitIronically, what we find is that when you actually put players together in Prisoner’s Island and all 10 players are actually consistently toxic players for subjective behaviors like verbal abuse… it’s nearly impossible to change.

Again, Prisoner’s Island type systems work OK for behaviors like Leaving/AFKs which are binary, but are very, very counter-productive for subjective behaviors.

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How about just giving real rewards for positive behavior

Lyte New PortraitWe have to go back and finish the Honor Initiative, and that’ll explain a lot of the reasons why Honor was setup the way it is but seems incomplete.

For example, right now there’s an issue with the Honor Ribbons where it’s simply rewarded to the top 20% of positive players on every server. Most of these players tend to play modes like ARAM and Co-op vs Bots because these modes simply have really high Honor give rates; so, you won’t see ribbons as much in Normals or Ranked. One of the fixes is making sure that we reward ribbons per queue, and not just per server.

Secondly, we have some rewards for the Honor Initiative that are more consistent. Right now, Ribbons are the top 20%, but there’s nothing for the everyday player who wants to be recognized for being positive while working their way up.

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Why not have the “Prisoner Island” be just for leavers

Lyte New PortraitWe’ve been working on a new system that addresses Leavers/AFKs more aggressively, and will talk about it in a post in the future. Without revealing too much, it’s a different take on low priority designs and will update LeaverBuster’s penalty and tuning systems.

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Anonymity is what causes toxic behavior

Lyte New PortraitHere’s where you disagree with a lot of recent research by multiple university labs. A lot of recent research has shown that online toxicity is not about anonymity. If you look at news, social media and other games that force you to reveal your real ID and often personal profile to post comments, there’s still an insane amount of toxicity. What the research has shown is that the problem is a lack of consequences for actions, and this has very little to do with anonymity.

Secondly, the current systems don’t create more toxicity. Many players that are banned for racism, sexism or homophobia quit League of Legends and never play again, and that is exactly what we wanted. They’ll rage on the forums and complain, but that’s expected when you tell a group of players they don’t belong in this community. For the small number of players that do make new accounts, they’ll keep getting banned until they quit as well.

Third, there’s actually a system in place at low levels already that separates toxic smurfs away from other players and then bans them. We knew some of the toxic players would make new accounts when they got banned, and we did want to protect new players. However, we see that for many toxic players a few bans does get them to quit permanently. Prisoner’s Island systems don’t solve this issue by the way… many players just create new accounts when they enter Prisoner’s Island anyways.

I agree that for most players, making it ‘worth it’ to be nice is more effective, and we’ve been working on efforts to reward those players and give them more reasons to reflect on why being positive = awesome. However, we’re always going to need pretty aggressive systems for the small % of players that refuse to change. For these players, we just want to ban them repeatedly until they take their time elsewhere.

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Will LeaveBuster remain the same, but with banning for leavers

Lyte New PortraitWrong, it has entirely new penalties and doesn’t use bans.

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If a player is stuck with toxic elements, he she will try to change

Lyte New PortraitCould you explain why these two are different? 

If you’re banned, why isn’t it “damn I lost my account that I invested in, I’ll make a new one and not be an ass or I’ll lose that account too.”

If you’re in low reputation queue, why isn’t it “damn I am stuck in low priority/low reputation again, that’s ok! Time to make a new account and replace my old one in a week or two, no biggie.”

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The issue with your system is it takes too long to ban players

Lyte New PortraitActually, with the current system it’ll take approximately 3 days maximum for them to lose their new account.

How is a system proactive if it requires player input, which is reactive because it’s after a game experience?

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Bonus – apology from Arkon Tri and a focus on theorycrafting a proper punishment system

 

I added this in because it’s a great message: that you should always be arguing over suggestions, not over personas, if you want to reach a constructive conclusion.

 

Lyte New PortraitNo worries, we have heated discussions about designs much like this one internally all the time. One thing I think we both agree on is that we should always attack the ideas, and not the person. Emotions really just cloud decision-making when we’re trying to deep-dive into the intricacies of a design.

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Sona's Rework Second Banner


 

 

Why are you nerfing Sona on the PBE

Fearless New PortraitI wanted to post here to clear up the reasons we’ve been lowering Sona’s values, even while the community here is asking for buffs. Most of the balance changes are reflections of internal playtesting, as we can balance those scenarios pretty well (accounting for people playing their main roles and champs, having less of a learning curve due to their closeness to the changes, etc.) so they give us a reasonably strong environment for understanding a champ’s balance.

PBE doesn’t have all of this going for it. Matchmaking is much less precise on the PBE, and some players are just hopping into custom games.

Based off watching the internal playtests, Sona was strong, and not just a little strong. Sona really hadn’t lost a lane before these changes.

As a side note, for the people claiming that negative posts don’t get read, that’s not true. I’ve read every Sona post I can find on here, on community sites, reddit, everything. While also trying to get Sona as streamlined and bug free as I can, time to reply is pretty lown When I see 3 or 4 people spamming out really angry posts, I do take the feedback and try to understand the source of frustration.

I haven’t responded in this case because previous attempts to have discussions haven’t proven productive. I don’t expect to change the minds of people who’ve had poor experiences here based on talking about what happened in testing they can’t see and don’t believe in. Being called a monkey doesn’t really make me believe that folks are interested in a meaningful discussion. If I have to choose between making an attempt to appease people who haven’t displayed a tendency to actually interact with debate, or fixing up Sona for her release, I’m going to fix up Sona so that she’s a better addition to the entire game, for as many players as I possibly can.

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Why haven’t you addressed the community’s concerns

Fearless New PortraitI think it’s a very fair criticism that I didn’t speak to you all as much as you’d hoped for. Saying that only 3 comments on one thread doesn’t suffice? That get’s a bit tricky. What is the correct ratio of posts? Do I only count posts that have actually tried to open or inform a conversation, or should I count troll posts and people raging without having even played the rework? At what point is my time posting and searching for ambient Sona threads better spent talking with our QA, live balance team, and experimenting with changes, tweaks and bug fixing? It’s very possible that I didn’t get that formula even close to right. It’s something for me to improve on.

That being said, when I look at posts that have lots of incorrect information, I started the time on PBE correcting them to make sure truthful information would be visible. Seeing those posts then get downvoted tells me that this community would rather punish someone they don’t agree with rather than provide its members with the most accurate info. That’s really depressing for me, both as a community member and a designer. It also doesn’t help when words get put into my mouth. For E, example, I don’t think the AP ratio “balances the ability.” I think a completely new ability that gives Sona, as well as her allies a very large block of MS makes sense on a kit that focuses on positioning. Sona can now position for huge ults without Flash due to E, as well as use her other basic abilities with quicker repositioning to save her team and power them up.

When we change a champion, some of the balance will be comparative, but plenty of it can’t be. Sona is Sona, and her balance as a whole is very different than any other champion. Sona has to be balanced of the collection as her base stats, abilities, growth, item paths, etc. I know it can be frustrating to see a value go down, and it can be easy to dwell on that change in isolation. When we’re adjusting Sona, we’re looking at the whole, and when she was showing up really strong, we tried to keep her power in the places that gave Sona her own set of strengths and weaknesses. That means she has to be worse at some things than other champions, but she gets to have strengths that are actually her own.

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It seems like you’re ignoring player feedback and suggestions

Fearless New PortraitIt’s not that I don’t care. Some of the suggestions don’t fit the vision for the champion, some are just straight up OP, and some were tested and didn’t work as well as the current option. It’s been something I need to do better with to make sure that you and the rest of the community at least hears more in these situations. I’ll admit to getting overwhelmed with the actual implementation and analysis for Sona, and not spending enough time addressing the feedback.

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Suggestion Make Sona’s auras chain off of allies to increase the aura range

Fearless New PortraitThe reason that we haven’t increased the effective range of the auras, either through a straight range increase or through something like this, is that it is intended that Sona continuously has to make a choice between playing safe and playing to maximize the effect of every cast. This is also why Sona has gotten even better AP ratios.

 

Sona players can build tanky/support tank and increase their safety, or they can opt into higher risk reward with AP builds. Larger effective aura sizes not only increase Sona’s effective support output, but decrease interaction with allies and leave opponents no real chance to respond if she’s strong, and no real room to buff her if she’s weak.

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Skin Recolor still in theorycrafting stages, not in development

 

[ Context ] A Redditor shared a thread with screenshots of a survey Riot is currently conducting on the option of selling recolors of skins in the store for 390 RP.

 

BuboBubo New PortraitReally happy to see the excitement here and wanted to provide a little bit more background.

This survey is part of our efforts to understand what the most important underlying elements of “Recolors” are and how important they are relative to each other. Everything is super exploratory at this point (ie: far too early to commit to recolors at all, a specific feature set, price or release date). But this feedback will directly shape what gets built because ultimately we want to delight you and what better way to maximize the chances of achieving that than getting your input?

On another note, surveys are a regular and central part of our quest to understand player wants, needs and behaviors. Importantly, they allow us to get representative responses from the various types of players. While forums and Reddit give us a lot of feedback and we are constantly perusing it, relying on them exclusively would lead to us missing the perspectives of players in other regions and those that don’t participate in these venues. This is also a key reason for why surveys are sent to individual players rather than posted for public comment.

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What are your thoughts on these surveys being made public on Reddit

BuboBubo New PortraitPlayers who didn’t get the survey enjoy the sneak peek, but it will inevitably set expectations for at least some players in ways that aren’t ideal. Meeting, falling short of, or exceeding player expectations keeps us up at night and public posts definitely make things a bit more volatile. From the player insights perspective (my discipline at Riot), it doesn’t help the validity of the surveys to have them posted up.

But at the end of the day, its part of the risk and done without malicious intent so we’ll roll with it.

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UNCONFIRMED FEATURE STILL IN TESTING!

Please no complainerino.

skin-splash Riot Survey Lucian Recolor End of Survey

 

 

Why isn't Vi top a thing

Gypsylord New PortraitSo as anyone who has watched the Vi champ spotlight may know, Vi was originally intended to be a top laner. 

She’s got a lot of cool gameplay in top lane with the Q charge up and E cleave but, honestly, she’s just too fair up there for too long compared to our current crop of top laners.

In the early game she has meaningful mana costs, telegraphed attacks, and massive cooldown windows for her passive and all of her spells (P – 18, Q – 18, E – 14 per charge, R- 150). I actually think top lane Vi could be a pretty awesome experience for both sides of the lane if we did stuff like lower her CD’s or buff E’s range and mana cost but then jungle Vi would go to crazy town. Could nerf jungle Vi to compensate but then are we screwing over the many Vi mains who prefer her out-of-lane experience? It’s a tough call.

All this said, SmashGizmo got diamond last season almost exclusively with top lane Vi. He’d typically play conservative until 6 focusing only on CS and rush an Iceborn Gauntlet for the extended dueling power and mana to offset her high costs. Turns out if a Vi manages to stay even until 6 there is not a single character up there (not even Irelia or Jax) who can beat her in a straight up 1v1. Her burst and sustained damage output is insane when she gets the chance to use it and her late game with top lane items is monstrous for the enemy teams’ squishies (or at least it was in season 3, a lot has changed since then).

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Why haven’t we been compensated after the EUW servers were moved

Draggles New PortraitThe compensation that Pwyff mentions in his post was given in June 2013. Here‘s a post from Demorphic (sorry the formatting is a little broken!) where more is explained.

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

 

 

Sona's Rework

 

Sona’s new kit is up and ready for testing! I made a preview on all her changes and have shared my opinion below. Let me know what you think of the new Sona!

 

 

 

Preview & My Thoughts

 

 

 

PBE Changelist

 

Here’s the full changelist of Sona’s abilities, as they currently are on the PBE:

 

Power_Chord  Power Chord [ Passive ]

  • Powerchord amplification on Q down from +100% damage to +50% damage


Hymn_of_ValorHymn of Valor [ Q ]

  • Creates a 300 unit aura that lasts for 3 seconds.
  • Sona and allies touched by the aura get 40/50/60/70/80 (+0.25 AP) bonus magic damage on their next auto attack. Buff lasts 3 seconds
  • Each ally Sona tags with the aura increases the duration of the aura by 0.5 seconds
  • Cooldown increased from 7 seconds to 10
  • No longer grants persistent AP and AD aura
  • Mana cost increased from by 5 at all ranks (50/55/60/65/70)

 

Aria_of_PerseveranceAria of Perseverance [ W ]

  • Initial cast heals Sona plus the lowest health nearby ally for 25/50/75/100/125 (+ 0.25 AP) heath. This heal is increased by 1% for each 1% missing health of the target.
  • Creates a 300 unit aura that lasts for 3 seconds.
  • Sona and her allies touched by the aura get a shield that blocks 40/60/80/100/120 (+0.2 AP) damage.
  • Each ally Sona tags with the aura increases the duration of the aura by 0.5 seconds
  • Cooldown increased from 7 seconds to 10
  • No longer grants persistent MR and Armor aura
  • Mana cost increased by 5 at all ranks (65/70/75/80/85)

 

Song_of_CeleritySong of Celerity [ E ]

  • Initial cast grants Sona a boost of 13%/14%/15%/16%/17% + (7.5% for every 100 AP) move speed. This decays down to the amount Sona grants to her allies.
  • Creates a 300 unit aura that lasts for 3 seconds
  • Grants allies touched by the aura 10%/11%/12%/13%/14% move speed for 1.5 seconds.
  • Each ally Sona tags with the aura increases the duration of the aura by 0.5 seconds
  • Cooldown increased from 7 seconds to 10
  • No longer grants persistent move speed aura
  • No longer grants allies % move speed on cast

 

CrescendoCrescendo [ R ]

  • Ranking up Crescendo increases the strength of Sona’s auras
  • +10/20/30 magic damage for Hymn of Valor
  • +10/20/30 extra shield for Aria of Perseverance
  • +2%/4%/6% move speed for Song of Celerity
  • Crescendo has new VFX that more accurately show the affected area of the spell

 

Bottom line is, you trade passive stats for auras.

 

Sona Rework Abilities

 

 

Why the Changes to Sona Banner

 

Two reasons – Sona was too passive and her real power was in being a stat-delivering aura bot. On live, the only high point of Sona’s gameplay is landing a perfect ultimate. Aside from that, it rarely matters where you stand or what you do; if everything is on cooldown you’re probably doing your job.

Sona’s rework creates a unique mechanic while also preserving what people like about Sona – buffing allies with all sorts of goodies and being a lane bully. It solves both her issues of being easier to kill than a Teemo tied to a tree ( I hate Teemo, if that wasn’t established) and her inability to create interesting plays.

Let me explain how it all works.

 

 

Aura buffs in Action Banner

 

Before the rework, when you cast a spell, you’d give out stats to nearby allies and that would be it. Boring! Now, after every ability Sona creates a ring around her. If you’re an ally and you pass through the ring, you get a buff! If it’s blue (Q) you get bonus magic damage on your next attack, if it’s green (W), you get a shield and if it’s pink (E) you become a whole lot faster so you can run away and live a life away from your support. Also, every ally that passes through the aura extends that aura’s duration. You still can’t stack auras.

Unlike passive stats, auras have a power curve that reflects how well you play Sona – position poorly and you’ll only be a shadow of Sona’s old strengths. Stay next to allies who need you, however, and you can swing fights on your own and not just hope your stats are enough for your team to win. Remember that you can technically cast a full-team Medallion or a Locket on a basic ability.

 

 

Why this rework is awesome

 

 Like you, I thought Sona was being butchered. But after playing with her new kit for a few hours, I can say this is a damn good rework. Sona’s actives feel so much stronger, especially when you manage to splash your aura effects on more than one ally.

 Early game your burst on bot lane is through the roof. With Hymn of Valor you can practically shove out any bot lane with your ADC from the brush and behind the tower. You probably need hands-on experience, but a stacked passive with Hymn of Valor + a basic attack can chunk someone for 200 health in under a second.

 It only gets better. Between the much improved heal when you’re low, the shield and the insane self-buff from Song of Celerity, you’re a lot more survivable than live Sona. You can legitimately bait two people to go on you and live with just one point in W – it’s that strong.

I can talk a lot more on why auras are such an intuitive design choice for Sona and work so well. But that would be taking away from the joy of having you discover it on your own. Wait until Sona’s rework hits live – you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

What's bad about the rework


 

 Sona’s cooldowns on her basic spells have all gone up by roughly 40%. On one hand, it requires you to think about blowing your auras away too quickly. On the other, mashing all your spells in a situation where you don’t have time to properly rotate giving buffs to allies is overly punishing. It’s tempting to quickly give all your buffs to a single ally, but doing so leaves you weak and useless for a lot longer than current Sona.

 Now is that a bad thing? Longer cooldowns mesh well with the theme of auras and how it forces you to think one step ahead how to position. I didn’t have too many problems with Sona’s longer cooldowns, but it does raise her skill cap and, considering she’s a recommended Champion, makes her more unreliable than new players would like her to be. She’s a lot stronger for sure, but if you approach her in the same way you would the Sona on live, you’ll find her new kit punishes mistakes a lot harder.

 

 

Final Thoughts


 

 I love Sona’s rework and the mechanic of auras. That being said, her new kit is a lot less fire-and-forget and needs the cooperation of your allies to be used properly. I imagine she won’t be a first pick for Supports in Solo Queue, as the amount of positioning she requires from her team is more than many would safely bet would happen with strangers. But, I’m absolutely sure she will be a beast in pro-play. She is still a teamfight Champion with Crescendo, but the amount of supporting power she can put out in coordinated teams is above and beyond anything that Sona in her current state can.

 

 What’s your opinion on Sona’s rework? Share below!

 

 

My Info Article Ending