Posts Tagged ‘summoner’s rift’


Concept Art Banner

Here’s a huge preview of the creative work that has gone into overhauling Summoner’s Rift:


RiotForScience New PortraitSummoner’s Rift has come a long way since League’s launch in 2009, but our latest update to ol’ trusty was the biggest change in the map’s history.

While all updates go through iterations and testing, Summoner’s Rift required a huge team of artists to concept and sketch out art for months before we started working in 3D. To celebrate the end of SR’s beta run, we’re releasing a few of the concept art pieces the environment team created, complete with notes and insights from the artists themselves.

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 Here’s a super late painting we created to hone in on the spawn area’s lighting. The beta launch of Summoner’s Rift actually had zero lighting, but we slowly added elements in as we updated the map.


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We painted this up to study how we could show terrain transitioning from areas near Baron to places way away from him.



These are some concepts that we sketched out for an asset to replace the small cluster of trees in the original SR bases. We wanted to replace that blocker (the term we use for something you can’t move through) with something a little more visually interesting and architectural.


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Remember the old wraiths? We sketched out a TON of ideas for things that could replace them. After trying a few of these guys out, we started leaning towards some bird-like creatures that eventually evolved into the raptors you see in the rift today. (1. Vulture Monkeys, 2. Dire Porci Rat, 3. Shroom Thugs, 4. Crystaling, 5. Mudworm, 6. Mandrake gone bad, 7. Stummpils, 8. Plant Chomper, 9. Scorpo FIles, 10. Flame Pixie, 11. Not Warrior, 12. Globs)


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Old baron was… well… a bit of a sock puppet. After trying a few ideas out, we ended up using the model that would later be in A Twist of Fate. But we still iterated, making tweaks to his head area, and giving him a huge body that we could really show off in his spawn animation.


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These are a couple of early studies looking at the composition of the north spawning platform and shop. The first is earlier, and from it we refined shape language, values, how busy the area would be, and overall composition.


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 These are super early sketches of the northern area, which we wanted to feel more destroyed than the rest of the map to emphasize Baron’s catastrophic impact. These drawings pushed really far in that direction.


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We used a sharp shape motif for the Paladin (or south side of the map) that would stand in contrast to the Mages (North side). The Paladin elements in the map are strong squared shapes and motifs that stand out from the sharp, aggressive, and dynamic shapes used by the north side.


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 These are some explorations looking at how the rift would infuse one of the more natural creatures on this mountain.


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Back on Howling abyss we designed one of the shopkeepers to have this massive pack-yak. We really loved the idea but we could not get him to work within the constraints of the Freljord. He eventually became a she, and fit perfectly into SR. We always knew that we wanted some type of shipwrecked balloon-riding yordle for the north shopkeeper.


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We knew really early on that wraiths didn’t feel indigenous to the rift, but it took a really long time to find a critter that would fill his shoes.


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The team really resonated with the idea that the magic of the rift physically forming into its guardians, and the Brambleback in particular to reflect the raw aggression that you feel when you pick up the red buff.


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 There was a lot of focus on how we wanted a unique dragon from other IPs and fantasy games. We tried a grounded dragon, but ended up with a thick, heavily armored guy, so carried on until we gravitated around this study, which put us on the path to finding the unique League take of a dragon.


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 We spoke about quadrants during the map update’s beta stint, but here’s a really clear representation of what we wanted to pull off. It’s a really early painting, but even still you can see the redwoods in the north, the cairn-stones in the east, and the overgrowth and vines in the south. We ended up going with a different direction in the west jungle, but its color palate and tone is still pretty similar.


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This concept shows the contrast between the paladins and mages use of magic. In the case of the Paladins, magic is used in a very tightly restrained and controlled way; In the case of the Mages, magic is used in a more organic and chaotic way. This hearkens back to the old map and the Order vs. Chaos sides.


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In this top lane vista sketch, we wanted to explore rock shapes and study the integration of the background elements. This is a more wild version of the area that you see in SR now… and has a lot of eggs.


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Here’s an exploration of the architecture we had out in the periphery of Summoner’s Rift. We really wanted to use this blocked off space to show structures that the native cultures built, hopefully giving you guys a sense of a consistent and cohesive world.


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Our early minion concepts explored ideas like minions made out of animated magic scrolls, bolts of cloth animated by magic, and even just sound.


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This was actually a very late exploration of Dragon. Many of our earliest ideas for Dragon were not even dragons at all, but ran the creature gamut of what could fill that role on the map before we decided to go back to a more traditional scales and wings creature. The dragon we have in-game is a combination of the proportions of the first dragon, the head and wings of the third dragon, and the tail of the seventh guy!


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This Baron illustration was one of the first images that was created for SR. We heavily referenced him for all of production. The way he is constructed (using stylized but very aggressive shapes) guided how we created everything from creatures to rocks to trees from that point on.


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This concept was an attempt to apply a very heavy and distinct theme on a specific quadrant of the map. The cracks show that you’re near Baron, and we created giant trees that were ripped down when Baron spawned, with tons of new life grown back since.


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We explored two opposing animal types as the potential themes for the different sides of the map. Here are some early sketches!”



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



Summoners Rift Beta Final Banner

The new Summoner’s Rift is almost complete; here are the latest changes to it:


With Patch 5.5, the update to Summoner’s Rift Beta will be coming to a close. Since launching this update last November, we’ve been monitoring games on the new rift, and soaking up tons of player feedback. We greatly appreciate all players who provided feedback and those of you who helped us identify issues with stability and performance.

When we decided to launch SR as a beta back in November, we knew we had some more work to do to fully hit our goals for the update, especially around performance, visual quality, and a few parts of the map that weren’t quite up to our standards. Now, a few months later, we’re ready to remove the beta tag, and to commemorate we’re patching out another bunch of updates for SR. While I won’t go over every single part of the map that we’ve updated, I’ll walk you through the main things that we’ve focused on.

As we’ve mentioned in some of our earlier blogs, one of our goals for this update is to have the environment feel like a place you want to spend thousands of hours in, and used words like charming, fun, ancient, magical, mysterious, untamed, overgrown, and alive to try to describe SR. Throughout our development on this update, we’ve been continuing to narrow in on making the updated rift more and more this sort of place.

This has been an ongoing process and while we believe the release of the November SR update was a considerable move towards hitting our style and feel from when we first launched on PBE back in June, we knew we wanted to keep pushing the experience on SR even further.


A stronger sense of place

And we saw your feedback. Some players waxed, often quite poetically (and some with pretty pictures, oooh!), that they missed some of how they felt when playing on the former map, specifically calling out that the artwork felt a little less vivid and lively than it did on the original version. We heard you, and we’ve focused some additional updates specifically aimed at improving the map environments.

First up, we did an overall hue, saturation, and value rebalance across the entire map. This leads to the overall color palette to feel warmer and the trees and colorful elements (like flowers) to look more bold and vibrant.

MidLane_Before MidLane_After

However, while we amped up the amount of saturated color throughout the map, we also widened the value range. We’re hoping these broad shifts brings in some of the feel of the old SR while improving gameplay clarity. In this instance the value adjustment should help characters to stand out from the background environment so that you can still clearly find your champion during the chaos of skirmishes and team fights. We’ve also increased the levels of contrast and added more details to the ground in the bases, jungle and lanes to help anchor the champions and increase particle readability.

MidLane_Before_Desaturated MidLane_After_Desaturated

Next, when we released the update to SR, we were still working on how we wanted to implement lighting and shadows in a uniform way across the whole map. Without broad, consistent lighting, there are many cases where parts of the map can look flat, less detailed, and outside our intended art style. For the 5.5 update, we’ve done a broad lighting and shadows pass across the whole map. Part of this process was updating some of the in-game geometry artwork to feature more three dimensional detailing at various spots throughout the map. Then we added new directional sunlight (and corresponding shadows), which we hope make the environment feel more 3D and consistent.

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I can haz pretty end of game screen

As many of you noticed, the announcement video for the update to SR showed a shiny new end of game sequence that didn’t match with what went live in November. We ran into some technical hurdles that blocked us releasing the full end of game, but ultimately decided that we’d rather get the update into your hands sooner than wait for the fixes to those issues. Now, after tackling a handful of tricky problems, its finally made it in this patch. May all of your future games end in a little more glory and celebration!


Blue is us red is ENEMY

You may have noticed in 5.4 we added a new in-game option (on by default in Options → Game) called Relative Team Colors. This option changes the way team minions and structures look in order to mirror the way the rest of the UI in the game works. Regardless of which team you are on, you will now see allies as blue, and enemies as red. The result is your minions and structures will look blue when you are playing on both the north and south teams (and your enemies will always be red for both sides respectively). Many of you may have noticed us slowly making other color changes to League in both the UI and in-game over the last months. Our goal is to achieve a single consistent visual language throughout the game and Relative Team Colors is the last major part of that process. Moving forward, when using this option, you can consistently count on blue meaning ally/friendly and red meaning enemy/hostile.


Performance and bugs

Over the past few months we’ve made a ton of improvements and optimizations to performance. The net result is hopefully better frame rate, quicker loading times, and less hitching in games on SR. Many of you helped us identify issues, and while we are sorry that any of you had to experience a less than optimal experience when SRU launched, we greatly appreciate those of you who took the time to call out issues so that we could find and stomp out a whole bunch of subtle problems and issues.

Additionally, I know some of you may have read everything up to this point and are currently thinking, “More updates! Oh Noes! MY TOASTER WILL DIE!” Well, do not fret! we don’t expect these new updates will cause any negative impact to performance.


And MOAR coming

Lastly, even with the SR beta coming to a close, we’re excited to keep making SR even better. We’ll continue to look for opportunities to update the rift and the rest of League well into the future!

See you on the rift!

Riot Aeon



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



PBE 11/12


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


All PBE Updates for Patch 4 22 Cycle

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A few miscellaneous files have been added for DJ Sona, but they’re not attached to anything I can test in-game.

[ Assumption ] This will most likely be this year’s ultimate skin and files for it are being patched onto the PBE in preparation. There will be a teaser for sure before DJ Sona is made available on the PBE, so stay tuned for that. There’s a chance it might be a legendary skin, but there are a lot of audio files added (including dubstep) so that level of features suggests an ultimate skin.




Two new exits have been added to both bases on Summoner’s Rift.


A team can’t use the enemy’s base exits. If you try to enter the enemy’s base through these, they’ll act as standard walls.


Here’s a clarification tweet from Software Engineer for Riot Reina Sweet:



Dragonslayer Braum Passive Indicator

Following a recent discussion on El Tigre Braum having a visually different indicator and Dragonslayer Braum not having one, the latter has been re-updated.


Dragonslayer Braum Passive 1

Dragonslayer Braum Passive 2



Item Changes


Hunter's Machete New Icon 2Hunter’s Machete

  • Bonus Gold granted per large monster kill increased from 10 to 15


Hunter’s Machete Upgrades

  • Bonus Gold granted per large monster kill increased from 20 to 30



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



News 13 11 Banner



On the forums, Phreak addressed the viability of immobile carries like Ashe, Miss Fortune and Varus. A currently popular exploit involving Blade of the Ruined King’s active is being investigated by Riot; note that exploiters are being perma-banned. Lastly, rumors of Middle-eastern servers, a thread to post performance issues with the new map, and an explanation from Morello on the delay of Cassiopeia’s PBE changes.


Recent News




All PBE Updates from Patch 4.20 Cycle:

[ 12/11 ] Changes to Fiora and Kalista

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

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

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

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



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Miss Fortune Varus and Ashe need buffs

Phreak New PortraitJust wanting to chime in as a player:

I think it’s very easy to say, “Look at these weaknesses. This champion is horrible.” IMO every champion should have easily-identified weaknesses. Otherwise, why wouldn’t you pick the champion? It’d be a no-brainer. For example, I can take any of the top played champions from the recent World Championship and make a case for them being terrible.

Zilean: This is a mid-lane mage with no lategame. Only has one damage skill. And if we’re in “league of late-game AD Carries” why would I want to pick this champion? If I revive an ADC with Chronoshift, he just dies right again anyway. IDK what the point of this champion is. I’d much rather play something like Jayce who does more damage, scales harder, gives an AoE speed boost instead of single target, and actually has self-peel, unlike Zilean.

Alistar top: Wow, a “tank” champion whose only tank stats come from my ultimate? What if our opponents try to fight us more than every 2 minutes? This champion’s useless. I have to go into melee range to CC, but then I just die right after. And I have to build damage as a top laner. How else can I threaten the back line? Such a useless champion design. I’d rather just be Maokai who has a really short ultimate cooldown, more damaging abilities, and way better healing during a fight and in lane.

Lee Sin: Wow, absolutely no late game. With how much champions like Thresh and Janna are being played, there’s just no way I can land Q-Q-Ward-W-R without my opponent Flashing, simply dashing away (Lucian, Tristana, etc.), or the support just peeling me off. Add the fact that I have to go Lizard Elder, yet still don’t actually deal that much damage, means I can’t be a tank either. How is this champion supposed to team fight?

And the list goes on. Janna has a weak laning phase and no sustain. Twitch has no escapes. Tristana has no mid-game. Lucian’s ultimate is easily blocked by tanks.

What it comes down to is that every champion has STRENGTHS, too. There were two different periods in League competitive history where Miss Fortune was a top 3 AD Carry. One was right after her release where here base stats and laning power were so strong, you just wanted to crush lane. She had all the same weaknesses: No self-peel, no in-combat mobility… And yet she had this other strength of lane dominance that made her not only worth playing, but the premiere pick. The second was in early Season Three I believe when Miss Fortune+Amumu was the comp to beat. Area of Effect team fighting. That’s another strength of hers. And we saw at the World Championship people went back to champions like Rumble. We know teamfighting is still really important. But no one decided to try MF/Amumu for whatever reason, so she’s “weak.”

Also keep in mind that every champion has synergies and anti-synergies. We live in one of two worlds:
1. Champion select, item builds, counter-picks, etc. are entirely irrelevant.
2. Teammate and opponent champions are important and have a direct impact on champions’ success.

I think it’s pretty likely we live in World #2. This means that Miss Fortune’s (for example) power is in fact tied to the types of teammates and enemies she goes up against. There have been multiple times in the past where her environment made her sought-after (early laning was important, people really wanted team fight power). And it’s really easy to bring that back: Just choose to play for team fights, dragons, etc. And with League of Legends being a team game, it’s not too hard to say, “Hey, let’s play Miss Fortune+Amumu.” That’s a world where she thrives.

The final thought I want to share in on the metagame. By definition the metagame is what everyone ELSE is playing. You don’t have to pick Lee Sin, Lucian, and Kha’Zix just because everyone else is. The weird thing is, while competitive players pick their own small champion pools and play within their defined metagame, there are twice as many champions out there that are actually MORE successful in the game that WE are all playing. And other players don’t have to define what we play.

 Even within the current metagame (omg how could you be immobile? Kha’Zix will kill you!) Ashe is one of the top 3 most successful AD Carries right now in high MMR. No, she doesn’t deal as much damage as Tristana. No she’s not as safe as Tristana. But she stuns someone from 1500 range away. You can literally never be out of position against her or you give up a free kill and a turret. Tristana can’t do that. And again, I’m talking about Diamond-level players here. Ashe excels (more than Lucian, more than Tristana, more than Twitch, more than Kog’Maw) with and against elite players.

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So Ashe shouldnt be picked by nonDiamond players

Phreak New PortraitNot what I’m saying at all. I’m just pointing to a specific stat that exemplifies how powerful she is. I feel like it’s easy to strawman and be like “Well yeah newbs will get caught, but that won’t fly in top tier.” However, I’m pointing out that even in the top 1% or something, a CC-oriented AD Carry with no escapes is still exceptionally powerful. Ashe is very strong in all skill tiers last I checked.

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Rewards Banner



Rewards for positive play

Lyte Final PortraitAs the 2014 season comes to an end, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate players who have demonstrated positive behavior. As a first step, players who haven’t been chat restricted or had their account suspended in the 2014 season will receive a 5-win IP boost this Friday, November 14th. Due to the number of players receiving this reward, we’ll be granting the bonuses over the next week. Keep an eye out for a shiny new boost icon next to your IP balance.

We’ve recently been focused on addressing extreme cases of verbal toxicity, and will soon be testing additional systems that address gameplay toxicity like leavers, AFKs, and intentional feeders. However, it’s important to keep in mind that players engaging in these behaviors really are not welcome in our community. Fewer than 1% of players have been escalated to a 14-day ban or permanent ban or even received a chat restriction.

As we mentioned previously, we’ve been testing some new chat ban systems and wanted to give you guys an update on our progress:

As of 11/13/2014, 95% of active players in 2014 have never received a punishment of any kind. The vast majority of you have not received chat restrictions, ranked restrictions, game bans or permanent bans this year!

So let’s spend some time highlighting the awesome behaviors in our community. If you’re a positive player in League, and are OK sharing some of your recent chat logs with the rest of the community, please post a reply here!

If you do, make sure you’ve verified your email account, because you may see another bonus head your way in the near future.

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Will the honor system ever come in use

Lyte Final PortraitYes. The current Honor was always a foundation, and we have plans to build on top of it. But, right now we’re focused on finishing the new Tribunal, LeaverBuster, and Team Builder.

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Is the 4win IP boost all well get

Lyte Final PortraitRead the post carefully, this is just the first gesture. 2 months left in the year :p

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Exploit Banner

[ Explanation ] A recent exploit was reported on Reddit; players would spam BotRK’s active without cooldown, instantly killing champions.



Exploit discovered announcement for NA players

Wulalowe: We are aware of an item exploit that some summoners are using. We are actively detecting and banning players abusing the exploit as well as working on a long term solution to this issue. Thank you for your patience while we work on this.

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About the current exploit reported

Dromaius New PortraitHi everyone,

We are aware of the exploit that some players have been using to instantly eliminate champions. We are actively working on the matter to have it resolved as soon as possible. In addition, all players found guilty of using this method will receive an appropriate sanction for using it.

There has been a fair amount of threads opened for that issue, and we will not be able to reply to each of them; we hope this post will help you see that we are working on it.

Note that as always, naming and shaming on the forums is not allowed. 

Edit: No need to contact Player Support anymore as we have enough information about this and will not require individual reports. Thanks everyone!

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Why is it witchhunting  to post proof on the forums

Pendragon New PortraitWe’re aware of the issue and actively working on a solution. Anyone who uses the exploit will certainly be punished appropriately.

Generally in that situation – additional reports do nothing to increase our awareness or improve our ability or desire to address it as quickly as possible, so at this point more than anything you’re just raising awareness to more folks who might want to try it.

The other thing to note that “proof” in the sense of calling out an individual is certainly witch-hunting. We have technological means to identify and verify people who are doing this.

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Performance Issues on the updated Summoners Rift

AEON New PortraitHey all,

We’re hearing some reports about players hitting performance-related issues on the updated Summoner’s Rift, and we’re actively investigating all possible causes.

While we look under the hood for potential optimizations on our end, there’s also a possibility that the updated Rift just doesn’t play nice with certain setups. For those with performance issues, we’d appreciate if you could:

  • Update your drivers
  • Adjust your environmental settings (try turning some down, as the scales got recalibrated! Your ‘medium’ settings on the old SR might actually be closer to a ‘low’ on the updated Summoner’s Rift - even with the same performance)
  • Disable HUD animations
  • Disable VSync

If none of the above work, you can help us out by posting a description of the issue in this thread along with a DxDiag:

  • Click the START button on the bottom left corner (default) or press the Windows Key.
  • Type dxdiag in the search box and press ENTER.
  • Click “Save All Information…” on the bottom right of the DirectX Diagnostic Tool.
  • Attach the file here.

We’re seeing a lot of machines run the same or better on the new Summoner’s Rift, but that’s exactly what these staged rollouts are for – tracking down the unforeseen performance considerations and figuring them out.

We’ll continue to provide updates via this thread on our efforts and thanks for your patience.

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Follow Up

ManWolf New PortraitThanks for all the dxdiags guys. That’s going to help us solve the problem much faster.

In the meantime, we think it may be an audio issue. I know it sucks, but if you guys disable sound you might see better performance. This isn’t permanent and we’re looking into a fix as I type this, but give it a shot in the interim. Thanks again. We’re on it!

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Delay with Cassiopeia changes on PBE

Morello Final PortraitYo guys,

Sorry, but we’ve had some nasty snafu’s with our PBE push. This is some process and technical stuff that’s preventing us from getting the latest Casseopia changes into the PBE – it’s pretty normal development, but it’ll take a bit to get that out (like about a week or so) due to how PBE and live branching works.

Stash is still iterating based on this and has new things on the kit, but we’re going to have to sorta shotgun them out on his next available PBE push. And since this is a new process to him, he didn’t know this when he talked to you guys.

When we can, we’ll show you the stuff you’ve talked about on PBE. Until then, sit tight, and thanks for being cool about it!

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Possible Middle-eastern servers

Riot_nicolo: We will re-boot our analysis for Middle East guys.

I don’t want to be dismissive because we will indeed do another territory analysis for this region, but I also need to manage your exceptions: we may not go with local servers there

To be transparent, the biggest challenge for the Middle East region is to find a server spot that improve latency for the whole region and to make sure there are enough CCU (concurrent players) at a given time to ensure reasonable matchmaking.

For example, if we put servers in Egypt, players in Saudi Arabia may have a worse ping because of Internet infrastructure: most connections from Saudi would through europe first before going back to Egypt. And vice versa. There are potential solutions for this so don’t lose hope but what we are saying this is not just a simple geographical equation. The Internet infrastructure is not that simple.

And if ping is only improved to a subset of the player base, it might take forever to find a match in matchmaking and then start a vicious cycle: players try the server, see it takes forever to find a match, which is then not super balanced, and thus go to the more populated server.

Then of course there are other challenges. We are still working on a few other data centers that we need to finish (NA east coast players, we haven’t forgotten you) and should we solve Middle East server location, we’d still need to work on a lot of other stuff (localization, transfer, etc…)

Hope that offers some perspective. I understand the frustration, I now live in a place where I also don’t have great ping. I promise we will look at it again. But can’t promise a solution yet.

Cheers and thanks for your continued support guys!

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


SR Open Beta Banner

The new map has entered its first stage of testing on live servers!

AEON New PortraitThe update to Summoner’s Rift is live in the Team Builder queue and all bot modes.

We’re also commemorating the launch of the update to Summoner’s Rift with two exclusive new icons.

Blue (1) Red

You can earn each icon by winning a game on each side of the map.  Win once on red side? Earn the red side icon. Win a game as the blue team? The blue side icon is yours. Win as red and blue both? You’re the new owner of two nifty icons. Do it at the same time somehow? You’ve broken the internet and your prize is the singularity. The icons will be available for the next several weeks.

Baron Nashor and friends await, so why are you still reading this? Log in and throw down on the Rift’s updated look!

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And here’s the announcement for all other regions:


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

Dev Blog: Optimizing the Rift

November 11th, 2014


Dev Blog Optimizing The Rift Banner


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


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


Engineering Art

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

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

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


Less is More

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

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

TriCount3_thumb TriCount2_thumb

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

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





Smaller than the Sum of its Parts

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

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


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


All the Little Things Too

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

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


Dev Blog Visual Hierarchy Banner

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


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

Timeless Style

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


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


Thematic Cohesion


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

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


Increasing Clarity

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

PanthOldSR PanthSRU

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

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


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


Visual Hierarchy

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


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


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


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


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


Invisible Technology

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

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

InvisTech1 InvisTech2

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


Looking Ahead

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

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


New Rift QA Banner

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


Summoner’s Rift Q&A:


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

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



SR Development Banner



How long has SRU been in development

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

[ Link to Post ]

What prompted the idea for the updated map

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

[ Link to Post ]



Whats the biggest thing you learned from the old map

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

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

[ Link to Post ]



Were there any funny features you had to scrap

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


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

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

[ Link to Post ]



SR Gameplay Banner



Will the update have any effect on the gameplay at all

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

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

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

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

[ Link to Post ]



How were the camera angle and pathing improved

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

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

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

[ Link to Post ]



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

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

[ Link to Post ]




Has the

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

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

[ Link to Post ]



Has jungle monster interaction been fixed

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

[ Link to Post ]




SR Upcoming features Banner



Will the shopkeepers get new VO lines

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

[ Link to Post ]




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

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Will you show where minions spawn from

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

[ Link to Post ]




Will stylistically outdated Champions be updated

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

[ Link to Post ]




SR Art Clarity Banner



Why do turrets look the same for each side

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

[ Link to Post ]




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

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

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

[ Link to Post ]



Why are the jungle camps mirrored on both sides

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

[ Link to Post ]



What was the inspiration for the wildlife on the map

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

[ Link to Post ]



Shouldnt the river be flowing through the lanes

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

[ Link to Post ]



SR Technical Banner



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

[ Link to Post ]


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

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

[ Link to Post ]



Is the map easily editable

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

[ Link to Post ]



Are there brush changes on the updated map

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

[ Link to Post ]



Will the UI be 4k screen compatible

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

[ Link to Post ]



Will the new brush affect Rengar’s leaping range

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

[ Link to Post ]





Will spawn animations for Baron

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

[ Link to Post ]



How big will the patch with the updated map be

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

[ Link to Post ]




How will this update affect ranked games

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

[ Link to Post ]



SR Funny Extra Banner



Whats your favourite detail of the new map

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

[ Link to Post ]



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

[ Link to Post ]



Will Chris Hansen be incorporated into the map somehow

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

[ Link to Post ]




How many trees are on the new Rift

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

[ Link to Post ]





How do the champions arrive on Summoner’s Rift



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



Welcome to the Updated Summoner Rift Banner

Riot have released a promotional site for the new Summoner’s Rift, featuring an interactive replica of the map.


[ Note ] Summoner’s Rift will enter open beta soon. A Q&A for the updated map is scheduled tomorrow, a 1 PM PST.


Summoner’s Rift Gameplay


[ Check out the Interactive Map ]



The Bases

Base 1

Base 2

The Rift’s two new bases incorporate unique architectural and stylistic elements to help you quickly orient yourself on the map. The south base features a bold and angular look in its nexus, inhibs, towers and minions, whereas the north base uses sweeping curves and smooth lines.


Inhibitor Timers

Summoner’s Rift isn’t just about brushing up the old – we’ve also added a few new clarity tweaks, like inhibitor timers! A circle of light slowly forms around inhibs after they go boom – once the circle’s complete, the inhibitor starts back up. Now you’ll know how long you need to defend your nexus, or, if you’re pressing your victory, how long you have until the enemy nexus turns invulnerable.


The Murkwolves

Typically easy pocket money for any jungler worth their salt, the murkwolves still bite hard when they get the chance. Of course, if you’re playing Warwick, your primary role is to defend these poor guys with all your heart.



Having enjoyed League’s fastest growth spurt since Lulu ulted Zac with homeguard boots and six warmogs, Gromp’s quickly made quite the impact on the Rift. Kill the big guy for gold!


The Krugs

Contrary to popular belief, the krugs are not related to Malphite, League’s rockiest of champs. They are, however, worth a fair chunk of gold to anyone strong enough to chip them into oblivion.


Red Brambleback

Summoner’s Rift features two of these terrors. The red bramblebacks fight fiercely, but killing one grants their slayer the Crest of Cinders, which burns and slows any enemies struck.


Blue Sentinel

You’ll find a couple of blue sentinels as you wander through the Rift. Though they’re passive enough when left alone, they pack quite the punch when threatened by… say… you. Still, killing a blue sentinel’s definitely worth the trouble: on top of the gold, their killer gains the Crest of Insight, which increases mana regen and decreases ability cooldowns.


The Raptors

The Raptors might not hit the hardest of the Rift’s monsters, but killing them is a great way to pass the time when you’re mid and trying to catch up in farm.


Destructible Structures

We added some extra tech into the new Summoner’s Rift, meaning towers now crumble and fall apart as they take damage. Not only that, we used the same tech for the map’s inhibitors and nexus, so ALL THE THINGS visibly suffer under enemy aggression.



Dragon’s back and burnier than ever before. Instead of breathing itty-bitty fireballs at whoever’s closest to him, now he blasts his target with fire that hurts nearby allies.


Baron Nashor

The ol’ Baron pit, home to countless broken dreams as well as the Rift’s meanest monster. You’ll ward here, you’ll fight here, you’ll die here, and if you’re extra awesome, you might just win games here. Kill Baron and you’ll give your team the baron buff along with a good chunk of gold!


Four Quadrants

West Side Jungle

East Side Jungle

North Side Jungle

South Side Jungle

We’ve given each of the jungle areas a unique look to help you quickly orient yourself on the map. See broken redwoods? You’re looking at the north jungle. Lush green life? That’ll be the south jungle. Cool blue cairn stones? That’s the east jungle. Withered trees and purple lights? West jungle. Gray screen? You’ve died. Try harder.


Fail Flashes Be Gone!

Successful Flash is successful

There’s nothing worse than flashing to EXACTLY WHERE YOU ALREADY ARE, and while clumsy fingers might still betray you on the new map, the map itself won’t. We’ve updated Summoner’s Rift to better match the navigation mesh underneath, so you can walk over walkable terrain and more accurately figure out whether a wall can be flashed or not. Generally speaking, if terrain has elements of height, like this guy here, you’ll have a hard time flashing over it.



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



PBE 30 10 Banner


PBE 30/10


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

[ Note ] The Preseason changes have been pulled from the PBE. The New Summoner’s Rift is still available for testing.


PBE Content from Patch 4.19 Cycle:



Reaper Soraka Splash Art


For a full preview of Reaper Soraka, check here.







Singed Splash Art Update


Singed’s splash art has received a few lightning and color shifts. Also, RIP skull sticker on the bottle.








Singed_Splash_0 (1)



Wukong Splash Art Update


Wukong’s new splash art has received a number of color shifts and extra details.




MonkeyKing_Splash_0 (1)





MonkeyKing_0 MonkeyKing_Square_0



Summoner’s Rift Login Theme



The updated map will be coming with Patch 4.19 as a staggered release. To learn more about it, check here.





Victory Defeat Visuals

New visuals for the end-game screen have been added to complement the updated map.


defeat victory (1)



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