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Why is Thunderlords getting nerfed in Patch 62

[ Note ] You can find the changes to Thunderlord’s Decree HERE.

Reinboom Final Portrait“It’s still possible that Thunderlords is over-tuned after all this, but bringing the others more in line with the leader should help us gauge how big the discrepancy is”

This is enacting that part of the 6.1 patch notes.

Currently, though there has been a wave of experimentation shortly after patch 6.1, the trend isn’t towards significantly more diversity.

With Thunderlord’s we’re using it as a moving goal post, it’s the benchmark to hit. Move others towards it -> push Thunderlord’s back slightly -> move others towards it (and in that regard, there will not be a change to TLord’s in 6.3 but we will try to get more changes to other masteries in 6.3 or 6.4). There’s also a couple misses in the current setup we’d like to address. Deathfire has little to no sense of feedback to it and Warlord’s is realistically used by very little of the roster (notably because it has no value before your first significant item).

On this change in particular: I’m purposely avoiding hitting the damage at all because the burst effect is the reason you pick the mastery. Instead, these are in the line of tweaking the accessibility of the mastery. TLord’s right now has up to a 10 second window to get your full proc. This has made the mastery more of a “bonus damage rider” than it has a “intentioned burst effect” for pretty much every mastery. This can be a difficult thing to balance around.

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Why did you reduce the window to proc Thunderlords damage

Reinboom Final PortraitThe duration of Thunderlord’s stacks that are applied on enemies actually resets every time they’re applied.

At 5 seconds, this means I can reasonably accidentally get Thunderlord’s to proc by just back and forth light poking with a single attack or spell every 5 seconds. Discounting the last stack (because that obviously procs it), this means that Thunderlord’s had an uptime of up to 10 seconds.

So that nerf is aimed at hitting “incidental” power in favor of “committed” power. For most multi-hit burst characters (and characters that free-proc it, like MF), this is a nil change.

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You should be looking at nerfing Precision not Thunderlords

Reinboom Final PortraitI’d prefer not to look at any mastery instead of another mastery but instead evaluate all, otherwise you create blindspots.

I do agree that Precision is running pretty powerful, and it might be candidate to drop a bit more. However (and this is just looking at Plat+ data), 1/3rd of Thunderlord’s users actually go Intelligence instead after the last nerf we did to Precision. With Precision, we need to be extra careful since it’s not the only mastery of significant power in that slot.

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Warlords Bloodlust needs to be reworked completely

[ Note ] You can find the experimental Warlord’s Bloodlust rework HERE.

Reinboom Final PortraitWe’re currently experimenting with a Warlord’s rework (this showed up on the PBE during the 6.2 cycle).

The distinct lack of any power at the start of the game for most champions makes it difficult to make it an option for many while not silly for three specific champions. So that’s the primary focus of the rework.

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Would a visual update make the other Keystones as popular as Thunderlord

Reinboom Final PortraitYes, definitely. And I strongly believe the lack of any decent feedback is a major contributor to deathfire feeling weak.

This isn’t a slamdunk case of “well, we need to focus on satisfaction” for the other keystones though. We should and are looking at opportunities, but even looking at other tiers on this line Bone of Stone is actually used about 13% more than Grasp of the Undying. Especially noteworthy that Bond of Stone is distinctly lacking in strong feedback.

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Reinboom Final PortraitFWIW, from what I’ve seen of “optimal” cases, Grasp is almost every melee top laner and Bond of Stone is almost every melee support except Alistar. And then Strength of Ages is every jungler not running Thunderlord’s.

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Can we have more tooltip information on the Assassin mastery like range

Reinboom Final PortraitI agree having more information available for not just Assassin mastery is ideal.

I’m resistant to having too much on the tooltip though. Long tooltips for a lot of players creates a “TL;DR, just give me what’s ‘best’ and let me get in game”. Short tooltips that are more scannable enables more players to make quick judgment calls instead of playing follow the leader.

However… for those willing to dive for information and optimize to it, that mindset is exactly wrong. To balance the two we’re actively trying to think of ways of having more “expandable” type of knowledge sources or ways of pushing that information to someplace that will help the information digging group without harming the scanning group. For example, the hover overs on item tips in the shop that was added with preseason is a clear example of this in action.

Mastery tips are a little more difficult, since they are already a hover over and thus we can’t use the same trick twice. So it might be a bit til we figure out where to put it.

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Its important that we know the numbers We shouldnt have to browse wikis

Phreak New PortraitI’d challenge how much that actually matters.

As a user, does it really affect you? If you’re hardcore enough, you’re already going to external websites for your build advice, rune/mastery pages, guides, etc. I find it ends up being a happy marriage between the official website giving you enough information to be able to play the game reasonably. And if you’re really looking for in-depth content, it’s totally fine to look elsewhere.

It does leave players feeling the distaste of it not being available to them first-party, but in terms of function over form, I feel the present-day system works.

Assassin tells you that you deal bonus damage with no champions nearby. So, not for a duo laner, and not useful in a teamfight. The specific number will really never change your gameplay. 1.5% damage is not enough to make you want to mis-position as Zed, or refuse to take your return flight on R after Death Mark.

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Dynamic Ranked New Champ Select Whats wrong and whats next

NaKyle New PortraitUPDATE 1/22 PST Evening:

Hey everyone,

Based on learnings from yesterday’s failed test in Vietnam, we’ve been improving our internal load test. This will allow us to better vet fixes before shipping them to live. We plan on internally testing the queue over the next two days, which unfortunately means you shouldn’t expect Dynamic Ranked or new champ select in Normal Draft this weekend. If tests perform well, we will look to roll out to one affected region (to be decided) on Monday. If that is stable and successful, we will roll out to all affected regions until service is fully restored.

ORIGINAL POST PST 1/21 EVENING:

Hey everyone,

We wanted to share an update on new champ select and Dynamic Ranked ahead of the weekend. We understand it’s been a frustrating week, and are committed to getting Dynamic Ranked and new champ select up and running again.

What’s Wrong:

New champ select and Dynamic Ranked runs on a brand new backend that performed well (after initial hiccups) during live tests in North America and Turkey. However, when we rolled it out live at the beginning of the 2016 Ranked Season, the high volume of games played knocked the new service down in some regions.

What’s Next:

We haven’t pinpointed a solution yet, but once we have a fix we’re confident in, we’ll be extremely deliberate in rolling new champ select and Dynamic Ranked back out to the game. The last thing we want is to return the feature to you, only for it to need to come down again. When we do have a fix, we’ll start in one region, and if successful, roll out to other affected regions.

FAQ:

Q: Do my ranked games count?
A: The placement games played in Dynamic Ranked and/or Solo/Duo queue do count and will transfer when Dynamic Ranked returns

Q: What about Party Rewards?
A: Party Rewards Weekends will be extended to compensate for Dynamic Ranked and new champ select’s downtime

We’ll continuously update this post as long as new champ select and Dynamic Queue remain down. Thank you for your patience.

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NaKyle New PortraitAfter making improvements to how new champ select and Dyanmic Ranked handles high volumes of games, we attempted a fix last night in Vietnam (1/21 PST). The queue showed some improvement, but ended up failing again The team’s been digging into those test results since late last night, learning from them and applying them to our next test. That’s the absolute latest.

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Why is Vladimir a part of the immobile mage update

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Meddler Final PortraitOur main problem with Vlad is his Q. It’s a low CD, targeted, resourceless spell that restores health. It doesn’t have much interesting decision making for Vlad, if it’s ever strong early he just shuts a lot of people out of lane and the main ways to deal with it are to either sustain even more or to punish Vlad really hard when he trades.

Vlad’s also got a bit of a ‘stat check’ issue, where he’ll just reliably outclick a lot of opponents 1v1 without sufficient avenues for being outplayed. That’s not ideal, it’s a lesser issue though since it doesn’t kick in until later in the game when 1 v 1 counterplay is less important than team v team counterplay.

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Why Cass VelKoz Vlad Zyra Brand and Malzahar in particular

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Meddler Final PortraitStatikk and the other folks working on the mage update will be talking in detail about why these particular champs. At a high level our goal with these class updates is to increase distinction between characters. With the mage update especially we’re also looking at some champions that are distinct, but when functional aren’t healthy for the game or are in an ok spot already but have a fair bit of untapped potential for differentiation.

Ought to bring more distinct things to a team:

  • Vel’Koz – Really distinct to play as, cohesive, feels fair to play against. Doesn’t bring enough distinct to a team though, so lacks a clear strategic niche or specialized tool offered. Goal with him will be to offer clearer situations where he’s the right pick when you want AP poke.
  • Brand – Pretty similar to Vel’Koz overall, in that he lacks a clear enough niche, so primary gameplay argument for picking him is when he’s the most damaging AOE mage. Needs a somewhat more distinct toolkit basically.

Distinct, but have significant game health challenges:

  • Vlad – Does distinct things, but can be really unhealthy. Work on Vlad’s going to involve a lot of ‘how do we preserve the core of what he does while adding ways to play against him’.
  • Malz – More game health issues than anything else. Counterplay’s not great in particular, with Malz needing to just click on you and kill you given his squishiness, immobility, lack of reach, vulnerability to item system counters. Has a lot of distinctive stuff going on though.

Untapped potential/Confused identities:

  • Cass – Confused identity, unclear niche (sustained damage almost marksmen like pattern, versus poison spreading potential, versus stacking power, versus counter initiator etc). Work on Cass will need to start with constructing a clear picture of what her concept should be (suspect that’ll include stripping out the stacking gameplay, though that’s a guess).
  • Zyra – Does reasonably distinctive things, but has the potential for quite a bit more. Also ends up either a strong bully or struggling to function a bit too often.

Finally, as with the marksman update in preseason, we’ll also be making some small tweaks to a number of other mages at the same time as these bigger changes (things like the Q reset on Twitch for example).

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Why did you leave out long-range mages like Lux Xerath and Ziggs

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Meddler Final PortraitWe decided we’d be best off focusing on a couple of sub types of mage here, which are basically sustained damage mages and pick mages. Artillery mages (Xerath, Ziggs etc with really long range) and supportive mages (Ori, Karma etc) are groups we might tackle later, though it wouldn’t surprise me if there was more value in tackling a different group instead (assassins or some types of tank instead).

 

As far as Lux/Xerath/Ziggs go I do think there’s a bit more overlap there than’s preferable, particularly between Lux/Xerath on pick/burst a dude and Xerath/Ziggs on clear waves/poke champs repeatedly. Lux does bring a more supportive kit than the others though, Ziggs gets more area control/mobility but gives up reliability against champions, and Xerath’s got phenomenal backline access. As a result there’s an ok current state distinctiveness wise. Potentially means they might just need smaller adjustments, rather than larger scale work, to pry them apart a bit.

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What exactly are your supposed problems with VelKoz

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Meddler Final Portrait

Some discussion from last month that covers Vel’Koz’s state:

http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/gameplay-balance/5dJN5vf7-meddler-velkoz-thoughts

TLDR: Healthy, fun to play, distinct to play as, fair to play against, needs to have a more distinct reason to be brought to a team than he currently has .

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Meddler Final PortraitWe understand there are a number of people that don’t want changes to Vel’Koz and as discussed think there’s a lot about Vel’Koz that’s already really good. Not disputing or ignoring that sentiment. We believe though that every champion needs to bring a distinct purpose to the their team and that Vel’Koz doesn’t deliver well in that regard. That makes him a great candidate for some work – good generally, but with a specific problem area that brings him down overall.

In terms of scope the changes to most of these changes are unlikely to be large, do expect them to be bigger than ‘hardly noticeable’ though.

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VelKoz is fine Listen to the community and dont rework him

BelugaWhale Final PortraitWe hear all of you on Vel’koz, and our opinions on him are actually very similar to yours. We love his combos, his geometry, death laser, and true damage. There is very little likelihood that his abilities will be changed in how they are used (with possible exception of his W), or his play significantly altered.

However we also want players in a draft to see their comp, their opponent’s comp, and pick Vel’koz thinking “this would be a great game specifically for Vel’koz” rather than simply “this would be a great game for any long range mage with a lot of AoE”. For scope context, currently the plan for Vel’koz is much more along the lines of Caitlyn, who also kept essentially her entire kit, but had it unified around headshots.

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Statikk New PortraitIt seems your guys’ expectations on how much we’ll warp some of these champions just because they’re in “the 6” is quite large and drastic. Guess it’s understandable given some of our track record. It’s important to consider that our changes have ranged from as small as Darius and Miss Fortune to as large as Mordekaiser and Graves.

Our current plans for Vel’Koz might literally be the smallest scope changes we’ve ever done in a class update. In fact, I could understand how some people may not even really perceive it as a significant update and more of a “patch note.”

Either way, your downvotes are loud and clear. You don’t really want Vel’Koz to change much. We don’t really plan on moving Vel’Koz’s core at all – just want to amplify what’s already there.

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Why not put up another immobile mage for a rework instead of VelKoz

Repertoir New PortraitThe answer to this is that small mechanical/gameplay tweaks may require much more substantial visual or audio effects to make work. As an example, imagine that we were to change Vel’Koz’s W and E so that they also had minor split-shot/geometry elements (this is just theoretical example; it isn’t the plan for him). Even if the gameplay effect of the change was small, we may still need some significant visual’s to have that not look super janky when it happens.

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Why pick Zyra over Azir as a counter engage mage in need of a rework

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Repertoir New PortraitThey occupy different spaces, in that Zyra is a different kind of mage than Azir.

For what it’s worth, Azir, frankly, tends to have too many strengths (this was especially true earlier in his life).

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What will the scope of these reworks be Same as Fioras update

Meddler Final PortraitNone of these updates will be close to Fiora sized (think roughly same scale on average as the marksmen changes).

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Will AD Malzahar remain a viable option after Malzahars rework

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Repertoir New PortraitI’m looking to leave some enjoyable version of AD Malzahar intact after his update. It may be different, but I’m hoping that it retains the spirit of what’s going on with it.

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Repertoir New PortraitThe hope is that Voidlings can be a meaningful source of damage and gameplay for Malzahar regardless of build.

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Were Heimerdinger or Anivia considered for a slot in the mage update

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Statikk New PortraitHeimer didn’t make it far. We feel he is really Distinct and Cohesive as the turret dude, and mainly lacks in terms of game Health (mastery and counterplay surrounding turrets in particular). Similar to Fiddle though, he has huge strategic weaknesses and strengths that opponents and allies can play around. He is still a prime candidate to get some tweaks and tuning with the sweep though.

Anivia was actually very close to being selected. Ultimately though, Anivia is already pretty Distinct (all her spells outside of E are pretty unique), Cohesive (frost phoenix), and fairly Healthy. We think Anivia can shine even with something as little as a ramping effect based on how long enemies remain in her R (this is all hypothetical off the top of my head…) and few other additional number tweaks.

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Will AP items also receive changes to go along with the mage updates

Meddler Final PortraitWe’ll likely include some item changes with the mage update. Expect those will be smaller scope than the marksmen ones though.

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Why didnt Shen receive a new voiceover with his update

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WAAARGHbobo Final PortraitI’m not on champ up. But in general, its a very, very small team working around deadlines. Rewriting, recording, processing and then having all 17+ languages localized and recorded takes several months. And because they are always trying get the best work done they can, they have to prioritize. So if a champ’s VO is “acceptable” they might instead use that time to work on another champ whose VO is “awful.” Eventually, they will make their way through the whole lineup several times… but they can’t high polish every aspect of a champ– all the time.

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As usual, here’s a small collection of recent fan art:

 

Winter Wonder Orianna by Alona:

0XRekvJ

 

Syndra by 커피55:

dt2qE8R (1)

 

Sona by Phikaak:

tSCaZLE

 


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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MidYear Mage Update

Statikk New PortraitHey all,

The next class update will be focused on “traditional” Mages and I’m here to give you guys and gals some of the initial details. Similar to the Juggernaut and Marksman releases, these updates aim to take look at an entire class of champions and accomplish 2 primary goals:

  1. Ensure the class as a whole is relevant and satisfying to play
  2. Differentiate each champion within the class

Why Mages?

Many Mages are intended to lack mobility but have not necessarily been given clear answers as to what they should do about it or why they work without it. For each sub-class of Mages (this is something we’ll dive into more in a different post) these answers will vary, but our intent is to make it clear that each of these champions is powerful in their own unique way.

On the flip side of the coin, many of them no longer meet our evolving gameplay standards of interactivity, depth, uniqueness, etc. This is also an opportunity to go back and adjust these champions (especially some of our older ones) making them more interesting to play as, with, and against.

Who are we working on?

Similar to the Marksman update, we’re aiming to release ~6 significant updates. The champions we are currently considering (but are still subject to change) are Malzahar, Vel’Koz, Brand, Vladimir, Cassiopeia, and Zyra.

For each of these champions we aim for them to be 3 things:

  1. Distinct – offer a unique reason to be picked
  2. Cohesive – deliver on their core thematic and gameplay fantasy
  3. Healthy – balance-able and fun to play as and against at all skill levels

Note that given the scope of these projects, we won’t necessarily solve every issue on every champion – and fortunately we won’t have to since all of the champions already succeed in their own way at some of the above.

On top of the 6, we are again looking to do a sweep across the entire class (as we did with the Marksman) to find potential tweaks that will make them more unique, interactive, and exciting to play. The smaller-scale changes done to Twitch and Lucian are good examples of this.

What can you expect? When?

We’ve learned a lot from our previous projects and better understand the line between something unique and something unfamiliar. Our priority is to find ways to evolve and enhance the current direction of a champion while still accomplishing the above-stated goals.

In some ways, the feeling of change is unavoidable; we are updating these champions so things WILL be different. We’re confident that we can retain the things you guys love while adding new dimensions.

This is all still a far ways off, so don’t expect anything soon. As you can infer from the title, we’re aiming to release these changes around mid-year and we’ve only just begun to delve deeply into these projects.

How can you help?

We’d love to have your guys’ feedback and opinion on the Mages before and during their development process rather than only at the tail end – especially for the “big 6” (Malzahar, Vel’Koz, Brand, Vladimir, Cassiopeia, Zyra).

We are most interested in the following about your favorite champion:

  1. What aspect is most core or sacred to their identity?
  2. What issue bothers you the most when playing them?

This doesn’t mean we’ll be magically giving everyone dashes or any other instant remedies to all their problems (weaknesses often exist for a good reason). Instead, this information will help us understand which direction to take each champion and where the opportunities lie.

We won’t be talking in the short-term about exact changelists since we’re still in such a state of flux, but we hope you guys are as excited as we are about the updates ahead!

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Dont ruin Malzahars jungle potential with his voidlings

Repertoir New PortraitI can’t guarantee voidlings will be exactly the same as they are now, but this perspective is something I’m trying to strongly consider when working on Malz.

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Why did you pick VelKoz for a rework and not Swain

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Statikk New PortraitSwain was definitely very high on our “want to do” list. What it really came down to is that we feel he really needs a full-on rework (gameplay, thematics, visuals) similar to Sion or Poppy in order to really deliver on an awesome version of Swain.

A large reason why we have chosen the current 6 is based off our confidence that we can deliver a solid update given the more limited scope they will get being as a part of a class update. We’re being a lot more careful about over-reaching since it’s definitely bitten us in the past.

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Statikk New PortraitReally substantial change for Swain’s likely to be quite a way off yeah (highly unlikely this year, can’t predict so usefully beyond that). We do think he’d benefit a lot from a full overhaul, he’s certainly not in Taric, Yorick etc tier though, they’ve got significantly bigger problems than he does.

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Why are you changing VelKoz Isn’t he fine right now

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Statikk New PortraitVel’Koz is a great champion, but he honestly lacks Distinctness. He has some hints here and there of uniqueness (Q targeting, true damage from Deconstruct, etc.) but none of them are pushed to a point where it truly differentiates him.

Don’t worry, even within the 6, the amount of change each champion will see is pretty drastically different.

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Statikk New PortraitI think you guys will be pleasantly surprised, we’re pretty aligned on where there is potential for Distinctness in Vel’Koz’s kit. We just don’t agree that he’s there just yet.

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Meddler Final PortraitWe’re not going to be ready to talk details of what will/won’t change for quite a while. It’s likely that Vel’Koz’s changes will be at the small end of the spectrum though, he’s fundamentally solid apart from his lack of distinct enough outputs (what he does isn’t distinct enough, how his does it is very distinct though).

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What about Fiddlesticks Why isnt he schedule dfor a rework

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Statikk New PortraitFiddle is also a champion we considered, but ultimately felt wasn’t the right fit.

To do a quick rundown on our perception:

  1. Distinct – Fiddle is extremely distinct on the roster. Playing as and against him offer unique experiences.
  2. Cohesive – Fiddle is decent in terms of cohesiveness. He has a somewhat niche thematic as a terrifying scarecrow, but it’s understandably cool. It could probably be pushed a bit further especially in terms of the satisfaction from all his base spell (Drain, Terrify, and Dark Wind).
  3. Healthy – This is debatable, but Fiddle is certainly not the largest health problem in the game. Tactically, his spells’ gameplay could probably be more robust in terms of interactivity (counterplay). Strategically though, there are many ways to deal with Fiddle whether through vision, knockbacks, stuns, etc.

Fiddle is certainly a bit dusty and old-feeling, but that means he may be more in need of a visual / polish pass more than anything. It’s not like he wouldn’t benefit with some more significant work, but he’s a champion that we feel can be a put in a decent spot even with just some minor number tweaks.

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Dont ruin the botlane strengths of Champs like Zyra Brand and VelKoz

Statikk New PortraitReally good point. We don’t intend to destroy Support playstyles, but truthfully many of these champions’ fantasies and gameplay manifest best in a role where they can get gold and be the primary threat for their team.

We’re very aware that Zyra, Vel’Koz, and even Brand to some extent all have identities in the Bot Lane.

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I hope Zyra gets a new passive and more ways to interact with her plants

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Repertoir New PortraitWe haven’t yet started work on Zyra other than ideation, but one of the things we tended to be excited about was more plant interactions, like she brings the forest alive around her. Not sure where that means we’re going to take her, but I am excited to see what the team comes up with.

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Repertoir New PortraitThe more we work on these group champion projects, the more I think we tend to find that if someone already has something going for them (like Zyra an “counterengage mage”), it’s usually a good idea to start ideation with how we might be able to crank that current strength up to 11.

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Keep the reworks simple We dont need more Skarnertype minigames

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Statikk New PortraitSimple is a great rule of thumb to lean on. We’re definitely keeping that in mind for these projects.

We agree with you on the “mini-games” thing. Mechanics start feeling like forced “mini-games” when they feel arbitrary, uninteresting, or simply don’t align with the expectations and desires of the champion. We understand this space a lot better after the past few projects.

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Why did you put minigames like Skarners crystal spires in the first place

Meddler Final PortraitWe think mini games, when well done, can feel like a really fun, natural part of a champion’s playstyle in a way that expresses their personality/theme. Draven axe catching for example taps into his show off nature, Bard’s chime collecting fits well on a weird dude that wanders and saves things etc. If the minigame doesn’t feel compelling, or doesn’t fit with the champion it’s on however then yeah, that can feel pretty jarring. I’d agree Skarner’s an example of that – if he had a reason to really want to defend the crystals in the jungle it might be another matter (e.g. if they contained others of his kind, frozen, that could eventually come out late game and join his fight).

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Why isnt Ryze on your rework list

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Meddler Final PortraitWe’re going to try and tackle Ryze before the mid year, we think he’s enough of a problem we need to act sooner . Unclear whether that’ll mean some degree of rework or just significant balance changes.

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Do you guys plan on doing anything with Syndra

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Repertoir New PortraitIf I recall correctly, Syndra made it pretty far through the selection process, but I believe we determined that she either needed a ton of work to really spice things up on her, or that we could give her a little love on the mechanics side closer to release and still get pretty good mileage. As these projects tend to fall in between these two amounts of work, we ultimately passed on her in favor of others.

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Xeraths in a weird spot right now Have you considered him for your list

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Repertoir New PortraitI’m interested to know why you think Xerath is in a weird spot. Is it because of the state of the meta-game? Or is it that there’s something he’s failing to deliver that he seems to be intended to be doing?

As far as what we thought, Xerath seems to be up to par in Distinction, Cohesiveness, and Health. I’ve seen some people argue his gameplay is too similar to Lux to be considered distinct, but we actually see Xerath as more of an extreme range DPS mage, whereas Lux is more of an extreme range burst caster that relies heavily on catching squishies out and killing them with quick full combos.

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Whatre your thoughts on Irelias  E from a balance design standpoint

Irelia Single Banner

Meddler Final PortraitI don’t think it’s a great ability, in particular because it can be really unclear what result will happen before she uses it, leading to press the button and hope plays that can feel unfair (in a way you can’t influence) to one player or the other. It’s also an ability that, due to the way it can punish fighting back and its nature as a targeted spell, can leave opponents without apparent options.

Having said that though there are a lot of other champions/abilities I think we’d be much better off looking at first that need the work more. An Irelia rework someday’s a definite possibility, think it’s unlikely we’ll do one this year though.

[ Link to Post ]

 


Is Singed scheduled for a rework

Single Single Banner

Meddler Final PortraitWe don’t have any plans to make significant changes to Singed (almost certainly balance adjustments at some point, but none currently planned). He’s got a distinct playstyle, a deep mastery curve, creates great high moments and certainly isn’t a jack of all trades. He is a bit weird thematically, but not in a ‘this guy’s failing to deliver on his core fantasy’ kind of way.

I’m not personally convinced the root from the Fling/Mega Adhesive combo’s sufficiently relevant to justify its existence on the kit, could imagine a world in which we took that out and replaced it with something a bit less niche. I don’t play Singed much myself though, so I might be just unaware of a bunch of value that interaction provides.

[ Link to Post ]

 


Do youve any changes planned for the Dragon buff

Meddler Final PortraitWe’ve been experimenting with some possibilities over the last couple of weeks, including changing the 4th buff to something a bit more felt than minion/monster damage. Currently waiting to get some insight into how dragon’s being valued in the start of the ranked season/first couple of weeks of professional play though to inform how big our changes should or shouldn’t be.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

The 2016 ranked season is now live

Ranked Season 2016 Single Banner

Socrates New PortraitThe 2016 ranked season is now live! Gather your allies and gear up for all new challenges as you climb the ladder in 2016. We’ve introduced a swath of changes over the course of preseason, as well as new dynamic groups — now you can queue for ranked play with any number of friends. With new champ select, you’ll queue up for your two best positions — you’re guaranteed to always end up with one of the two positions you select — and join a team of players who’ve done the same.

To learn more about the 2016 Season, visit the season homepage here or check out the patch notesover yonder. It’s a new season of GGs, and we’ll see you on the battlefield!

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Ready set play Earn Party Rewards all week long

Celebrate the launch of new champ select and the 2016 ranked season with Party Rewards. How’s it work? Simple. The larger your premade group, the larger the IP bounty you rake in. The bonus is even bigger for new champ select-enabled queues like Normal and Ranked draft. The All-Star bonus from Team Fire’s win at All-Stars is active in Taiwan, NA, and Korea!

Check out the details below!

Premade size New champ select queues Other queues
1 0% 0%
2 125% 50%
3 175% 75%
4 225% 100%
5 450% 150%

Party Rewards are live starting today (10:00AM PST on January 20) until 11:59PM PST on January 24. We’ll see you on the Rift!

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Dynamic Queue system disabled further details

Ymir New PortraitTL;DR Dynamic queue was disabled because of a load issue, Solo/Duo Ranked is temporarily re-enabled, and all matches played in this mode still count towards your future Dynamic ranking.

Earlier today, we saw an issue on EUW that required us to disable the dynamic queue system. This was due to an issue with player load on the servers. This has also affected the KR server in a similar way.

As a result of this, all ranked modes based on the dynamic queuing system were disabled and remained down while we continued to investigate. When deciding on a course of action we had two options:

a) Leave ranked disabled until the issue was resolved
b) Re-enable the previous Ranked Solo/Duo queue

We chose option b) because we wanted to ensure that those of you who enjoy ranked could still play your placement matches. As we did not have a clear ETA on a fix, we proceeded to re-enable Ranked Solo/Duo until the issue is resolved.

What does this mean for your placements and rating?

Any games played on the currently available solo/duo queue system will count towards your placements and ranking when the new system is back up. For example, if you already played 2 games before the issues began in Dynamic Draft and 6 more in Solo Queue, you’d have 8 games played – and these all count towards your placements.

Why are other regions not affected?

Before we introduced this feature, we used a simulated environment to load test the entire system. Live implementation was first conducted on TR and NA with no major glitches. However, some subsystems of the dynamic queues didn’t scale up correctly when running on a larger live environment.

What are the next steps?

Our engineers are actively working to fix and re-enable dynamic queues in EUW. As of now we have no ETA but our tech teams will provide an update when we have more information to share. Thank you for your patience.

UPDATE: To answer a question some of you may have regarding Party Rewards, a several day event that offers bonus IP for playing with friends. We’re holding this event back for EUW until issues are resolved. Once Dynamic Queues are back we’ll look to enable Party Rewards and make sure that players on EUW have the same amount of time to earn IP with friends.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

If you have large updates why not test them on the biggest server EUW

Ymir New PortraitWe don’t consider Live environments as testing platforms. That would be dangerous and unfair to our players. Most of our features go through similar process after the development phase: functional testing -> load testing -> initial deployment to previously selected environments -> few days of player behavior testing (collecting players usage data) -> full deployment everywhere else. The NA & TR deployments week ago just helped us properly understand player reactions, gather important behavioral data and eventually tweak and adjust the service globally. You know, hundreds of dynamic variables here and there…

There were some minor issues in NA, but in general the service was and still is stable. Load testing of large services is always tricky though as one has to simulate the load in development labs. You can’t just get millions of players to test your service live — it must be done artificially as a set of ongoing software trials. We always go much higher than the expected traffic, and usually get highly expected results, like the one with the months-long EUW load tests before the new data center deployment in AMS. No matter how precise you are, live environments can be unpredictable and sometimes even tiny unexpected factor is enough to get one subsystem’s thread on hold. Obviously there are larger systems out there in the internet, but they are usually distributed and can handle the load separately. Our environments work differently — there is a distribution in given service’ cluster, but in general EUW, NA, KR, etc, are single entities handling the entire traffic all by itself.

Sorry for longer post. We’ll obviously do our best to get back to you with fixed Dynamic Queues asap 😉

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Update on Dynamic Queues for all regions

Draggles New Portrait Update: Dynamic normal queue is now disabled in all regions worldwide while we work on a fix (as an fyi, NA began to see similar issues despite the earlier launch on that server). Still no ETA to give but will be sure to have someone update this thread when that changes.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Follow Up Banner

Riot Eambo Final PortraitHi guys,

The PB team are the experts on this one, and their updates mean a lot more than mine. However, Lyte has been posted HERE with information – while unfortunately there’s not much to be said at the minute, the team are hard at work trying to fix this issue, get it tested, and get it out to you guys. We are as excited for this feature as you are – I honestly couldn’t wait to get home yesterday to play it, and I plan on leaving my placements until it’s back up and running due to the less stressful nature of things in the new champ select.

I know you guys want updates, and it sucks when we can only post “we’re working on it” – but that’s the truth and update we’ve got at the moment. As per Lyte, there’s no ETA at the moment, but I advise keeping an eye on the boards and Lyte’s twitter for updates as they’re available.

Thanks for sticking with us on this – we know it’s far from a smooth experience, but personally I truly believe the new champion select and dynamic queues are great features, and cannot wait to see them (back) on live to get some games with you guys on the rift!

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Champion Mastery Level 6 7

Socrates New PortraitHey all,

When we first announced that Hextech Crafting and loot was heading to PBE, we saw a few questions about how champion shards would work for players who already had all champions unlocked. We weren’t ready to answer those questions then, we are now at the point where we want to reach out to the community for feedback.

Here’s our current, leading design:

  • All players (whether you have all champions unlocked or not) can use champion shards that are duplicates of champions you already own to increase the Champion Mastery level cap of specific champions up to level 7.
    • This will increase the level cap, but won’t increase your actual Champion Mastery experience or unlock any associated rewards (unless you already have enough mastery points on a champ to be level 6 or 7, in which case you’ll immediately unlock those rewards)
    • Example: You own Jax. Using a Jax shard, you can raise the Champion Mastery level cap to 6 for Jax.
  • Alternatively, you can combine 3 champion mastery shards to unlock another level on any champion you choose.
    • Example: You spend three random champion shards to increase Champion Mastery level and a pop up appears allowing you to select any champion. You select Renekton, raising his Champion Mastery level cap to 6.

We also plan to offer chests in the store that can be purchased with IP that would contain specific types of champion shards. For example, we might offer a Demacian Chest for a limited period of time which would contain champion shards for champions associated with Demacia. We might also offer chests like these via other means, like rewards for accomplishments in ranked.

Our goal with this is to ensure champion shards drops always feel like a step towards something players care about and to make to the highest tiers of champion mastery feel exclusive and valuable. Ultimately we think this will make it more meaningful when you drop your mastery badge emote after a clutch (or not so clutch) play. It’s possible that there could be some other reward types associated with higher champion mastery levels, but this is still TBD. We’re excited to get Hextech Crafting and loot out to you all and curious to hear your feedback.

Thanks everyone for all the testing you’ve done so far!

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Does that mean we need shards to drop to reach Mastery levels 6 and 7

Socrates New PortraitIt’s the level 6 and 7 cap that unlock not the experience required for the levels themselves. So you’ll still have to earn your way up. Since the chests require strong performances (S grades) on champs, it puts more weight on unlocking these levels.

Somebody else pointed out since these rewards are more exclusive they should probably be cooler. That’s a good point also.

[ Link to Post ]

 

As always, here’s a short collection of recent fan-art:

 

Zed by Citemer:

C76v1p9 9B7oRhc

 

Swimsuit Lux by raichoo:

swimsuit_lux_by_raichiyo33-d9onwp6

 

A New Dawn by haonguyenly:

a_new_dawn_by_haonguyenly-d9ot6qn

 


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

 

Free Champion Rotation December 23 Banner

The following Champions will be free-to-play until December 23rd:

 

Cho'Gath Final Portrait

Jax Final Portrait

Lucian Final Portrait

Lulu Final Portrait

Sivir Final Portrait

Vi Final Portrait

Xerath Final Portrait

Zac Final Portrait

Zilean Final Portrait

Ziggs Final Portrait

 

 

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


 

Short Stories Banner

 

Here are the new stories for Xerath and Azir! I’ve also added some discussion with Narrative Editor Jaredan on Shurima’s developing story.

 

 

Jaredan Final PortraitHey all,

As a member of the Narrative discipline that works on ideation & story, I’d like to follow up with you about where we currently are with champ bios and backgrounds.

Previously, we’ve communicated two main ways in which the presentation of champ backgrounds is changing: format & location. A while back we started moving away from the older style of ‘historical’ bios in favor of character stories (think Braum & Gnar), but we’ve found that issues like character limits and formatting constraints are preventing us from really pushing things further in the in-client lore tabs. Given that the lore tab is also intended to give players a quick feel for a champ’s thematic and identity, we’ve decided to morph it into more of an introductory space that links to deeper story experiences on the website’s champ info pages.

That said, we’re frankly behind on all of this. We recently released in-client champion intros for Shurima champions without having their deeper story pieces ready to go. We know this is frustrating and we’re working to get them all out as soon as possible.

Additionally, as I mentioned last week, we’ve run into some tech issues preventing us from de-linking the champ info pages from the lore tabs. We hope to have this fixed very shortly, but for now we’re actually unable to deliver completed stories in the way we’ve promised.

Because of this, we’ve taken the interim step of stickying the new Azir and Xerath short stories on this board. We hope you enjoy them, and deeply appreciate your continuing patience as we work to bring you the stories you want and deserve.

I’ll be hanging out in this thread for a bit, so feel to leave any questions you may have and I’ll do my best to address them.

Azir

Xerath

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When will you show us this new Shurima narrative

Jaredan Final PortraitOur aim is to bring you stories with much more regularity than we have in the past. We’re learning and leveling up, but we want to deliver stories to you. While we’re working out a few things, including tech issues, it’s not gone as quickly as we would like, hence putting these first two stories here on the boards while we sort things.

More will be coming.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

If Azir emancipated Xerath, why did Xerath kill him

Jaredan Final PortraitIt was already planned out, wheels that had been in motion for years were set to bring Azir and Shurima crashing down. Xerath couldn’t stop what he had started.

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Did Xerath show sadness in the end

Jaredan Final PortraitI think sadness is one of the many emotions that Xerath was feeling at that moment. Part of him meant it, but how much of him is full of regret is something we’ll have to explore.

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Will we see new lore about Sivir

Jaredan Final PortraitWorking on it!

Sivir was left in a very interesting and precarious place by events in Shurima, we will definitely be following her story further to show the immediate aftermath.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

If Azir's family was killed, who did Sivir descend from

Jaredan Final PortraitThat’s an excellent question—that I will in no way, shape or form answer right now. I’ll leave that tale to play out.

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What are you plans for Kayle

Jaredan Final PortraitThere are no immediate plans for Kayle.

We’re trying to do better, frankly I’ve just been a really busy bloke, but just speaking personally I should be able to hop on more regularly in the coming weeks.

We want to do stories for all of our champions; events give a good focus for a cluster of them, but we do want to explore those characters who exist outside of specific factions.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Azir Arisen


 

 

Azir walked the gold-paved Emperor’s Way. The immense statues of Shurima’s earliest rulers – his ancestors – watched his progress.

The soft, shadowy light of predawn seeped through his city. The brightest stars still shone overhead, though they would soon be snuffed out by the rising sun. The night sky was not as Azir remembered it; the stars and the constellations were misaligned. Millennia had passed.

With every step, Azir’s heavy staff of office struck a lonely note, echoing through the capital’s empty streets.

When last he had walked this path, an honor guard of 10,000 elite warriors had marched in his wake, and the cheers of the crowd had shaken the city. It was to have been his moment of glory – yet it had been stolen from him.

Now, it was a city of ghosts. What had become of his people?

With an imperious gesture, Azir commanded the sands beside the roadway to rise, creating living statues. This was a vision of the past, the echoes of Shurima given form.

The sand figures looked forward, heads tilted toward the immense Sun Disk hanging above the Dais of Ascension half a league ahead. It hung there still, declaring the glory and power of Azir’s empire, though no one remained to see it. The daughter of Shurima who awakened him, she who bore his lineage, was gone. He sensed her out in the desert. Blood bound them together.

As Azir walked the Emperor’s Way, the sand-echoes of his people pointed up at the Sun Disk, their joyful expressions turning to horror. Mouths opened wide in silent screams. They turned to run, stumbling and falling. Azir watched this all in despairing silence, bearing witness to the last moments of his people.

They were obliterated by a wave of unseen energy, reduced to dust and cast to the winds. What had gone wrong with his Ascension to unleash this catastrophe?

Azir’s focus narrowed. His march became more resolute. He reached the base of the Stairs of Ascension and began to climb, taking them five at a time.
Only his most trusted soldiers, the priesthood, and those of the royal bloodline were allowed to step foot upon the Stairs. Sand versions of these most favored subjects lined his path, faces upturned, grimacing and wailing in silence before they too were swept away by the winds.
He ran, taking the steps faster than any man could, talons digging into the stonework, carving furrows where they caught. Sand figures rose, and were then destroyed, to either side of him as he climbed.

He reached the top. Here, he saw the final circle of onlookers: his closest aides, his advisers, the high priests. His family.
Azir dropped to his knees. His family was before him, rendered in perfect, heartbreaking detail. His wife, heavy with child. His shy daughter, clutching his wife’s hand. His son, standing tall, on the brink of becoming a man.

In horror, Azir saw their expressions change. Though he knew what was to come, he could not look away. His daughter hid her face in the folds of his wife’s dress; his son reached for his sword, shouting in defiance. His wife… her eyes widened, sorrow and despair writ within.
The unseen event blasted them to nothingness.

It was too much, but no tears welled in Azir’s eyes. His Ascended form rendered that simple act of grief forever lost to him. With a heavy heart, he pushed himself to his feet. The question remained as to how his bloodline survived, for it most assuredly had.

The final echo awaited.

He advanced, halting one step below the dais, and watched as it all played out before him, reenacted in the sand.

He saw himself, in his mortal form, rise up into the air beneath the Sun Disk, arms wide and back arched. He remembered this moment. The power coursed through him, infusing his being, filling him with its divine strength.

A newcomer formed in the sand. His trusted bondsman, his magus, Xerath.

His friend uttered a silent word. Azir watched himself shatter like glass, exploding into motes of sand.

“Xerath,” breathed Azir.

The traitor’s expression was unknowable, but Azir could see nothing but the face of a murderer.

Where did such hate come from? Azir had never been aware of it.

The sand image of Xerath rose higher into the air as the Sun Disk’s energies focused into his being. A cadre of elite guards rushed toward him, but they were all far too late.

A brutal shockwave of sand flared out, disintegrating the final moment of Shurima. Azir stood alone among the dying echoes of his past.

This is what killed his people.

Azir turned away, just as the first rays of the new dawn struck the Sun Disk overhead. He’d seen enough. The sand image of the transformed Xerath collapsed behind him.

The dawn sun reflected blindingly off Azir’s flawless golden armor. In that instant, he knew that the traitor still lived. He sensed the magus’s essence in the air that he breathed.

Azir lifted a hand, and an army of his elite warriors rose from the sands at the base of the Stairs of Ascension.

“Xerath,” he said, his voice tinged with rage. “Your crimes will not go unpunished.”

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Xerath Unbound Banner

 

 

This was the moment.

The singular moment that had cost him so much, that had taken a lifetime of planning. A corrupt empire and its strutting princeling would be struck down under the blankly idiotic sun symbol they both so trusted. The key to immortality, jealously guarded and miserly offered, would be his alone, stolen in front of the entire world. A singular moment of perfect vengeance that would finally free the slave known as Xerath.

Though his master’s helm revealed no human expression, and knowing that the lovingly etched metal could not respond in kind, Xerath smiled up at the soulless hawk’s face just the same, his joy genuine. A life spent in servitude, first for a mad emperor and now a vain one, endless manipulations for and against the throne, a near-damning quest for barely remembered knowledge that almost consumed him—all of it led to this grotesque masquerade of Ascension.

The very word when spoken aloud was an assault: We will Ascend, while you are chained to the broken stone as the sands of time swallow you all. No. Not anymore, and never again. The chosen golden lords will not be taken into the sun’s embrace and made gods. A slave will do this; a simple slave, a boy who once had the misfortune to save a noble child from the sands.

And for this sin, Xerath had been punished with a horrible, maddening promise: freedom. Unobtainable. Forbidden. Should the thought even dart through a slave’s mind, it would be punished by death, as the Ascended could gaze past flesh and bone, deep into one’s very soul, to see its dim traitorous glow. And yet, there it was, spoken by the young princeling he dragged from the embrace of the mercurial mother-desert. Azir, the Golden Sun, vowed that he would free his savior and new friend.

A promise unkept to this day. The words of a grateful child, innocently oblivious to the impact they would have. How could Azir upend thousands of years of rule? How could he fight tradition, his father, his destiny?

In the end, the young emperor would lose it all by not honoring his word.

And so, Xerath was elevated and educated, eventually becoming Azir’s trusted right hand—but never a free man. The soured promise ate into what he was, and what he could have been. Denied a small, simple thing, the right to live his life, Xerath decided to take everything, all of the things denied to him, all of the things he deserved: the empire, Ascension, and the absolute purest form of freedom possible.

With each step taken toward the offensively grandiose Dais of Ascension, positioned respectfully behind his emperor and flanked by the inept sentinels who supposedly protected Shurima, Xerath felt an unknown lightness he was genuinely shocked by. Was this joy? Does vengeance bring joy? The impact was almost physical.

At that very moment, the overwrought suit of golden armor that was his tormentor abruptly halted. And turned. And walked toward Xerath.

Could he know? How could he possibly know? This spoiled, self-obsessed boy? This righteous, falsely benevolent emperor whose hands were just as bloody as Xerath’s own? Even if he did, there was no staying the killing blow that was already in motion.

Xerath had planned for every contingency. He had bribed, killed, out-maneuvered, and plotted for decades—he even tricked the monstrous brothers Nasus and Renekton into staying away from the event—but he had not planned for this…

The Emperor of Shurima, the Golden Sun, Beloved of Mother Desert, soon to be Ascended, took off his helmet, revealed his proud brow and smiling eyes, and turned to his oldest and most trusted friend. He spoke about the love of brothers, the love of friends, of hard fights won and others lost, of family, of future, and finally… of freedom.

At these words, the guards flanked Xerath, moving in, weapons drawn.

So the princeling did know. Had Xerath’s plans had been undone?

But the fools in armor were saluting. There was no menace to them, they were honoring him. They were congratulating him.

On his freedom.

His hated master had just freed him—he had freed them all. No Shuriman would ever wear chains again. Azir’s last act as a human was to unfetter his people.

The foundation-shuddering roar of the assembled masses drowned out any response Xerath could have had. Azir donned his helmet and strode out onto the Dais, his attendants preparing him for the godhood that would never come.

Xerath stood in the shadow of the monolithic Sun Disk, knowing that an empire-destroying doom was but seconds away.

Too late, friend. Too late, brother. Far too late for us all.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

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

 

 

The following Champions will be free-to-play until October 22nd:

 

 

Draven Final Portrait

Karma Final Portrait

Lee Sin Final Portrait

Morgana Final Portrait

Rumble Final Portrait

Singed Final Portrait

Syndra Final Portrait

Varus Final Portrait

Vi Final Portrait

Xerath Final Portrait

 

 

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

 

News Update 09 09 Banner

 

Summary

Viktor‘s third rework has been posted on the forums and with that – a new splash art. In other map topics, Dominion has been receiving a fair bit of criticism lately for being largely abandoned by Riot and Ghostcrawler and ManWolf took to the forums to explain the company’s priorities and why a Ranked queue in Dominion would harm the mode. A thread was open on GD to collect feedback on Cassiopeia’s rework and finally, lore pieces for Xerath’s ascension and Azir – the new Champion coming with Patch 4.16 – were posted on LoL”s FB page.

TL;DR in featured comments.

 

Recent News

PBE-Round-up-Patch-4-16-Banner (1)

Patch-4-16-Maintenance-Banner (1)

Listening-to-Players-Banner

 

 

Shurima Lore Banner

A series of lore pieces were posted on LoL’s facebook page, detailing Xerath’s Ascension lore and the involvement of Nasus, Renekton and Azir in his story.



10661785_10154704926910556_3675604022854656595_o

“In ancient Shurima, young emperor Azir was persuaded by Xerath, his magus, to attempt the fabled Ascension ritual – despite ancient warnings to do so only in times of direst threat.”

 

906366_10154704927670556_7031880323372844621_o

“Azir’s hubris proved disastrous. As the Sun Disc focused the dawn rays into a transformative beam, Xerath betrayed Azir, shoving his emperor aside and stealing its power for himself.”


10688233_10154704928225556_6080297303211475103_o

“In an instant, Azir was obliterated – and Xerath remade as a spectral being of pure, malevolent energy – as the city around them was swallowed whole by the desert.”

 

10688275_10154704929310556_6177128467653466325_o (1)

“Nasus and Renekton, Ascended heroes of Shuriman legend, sensed in an instant that something had gone terribly wrong and rushed to the Sun Disc. They hurled Xerath into a chained sarcophagus – but the magus shattered it into shards.”

 

10697163_10154704929720556_4505507435591498360_o

“Renekton dragged Xerath into the Tomb of the Emperors and shouted to Nasus to seal the door. With a heavy heart, Nasus entombed his brother with a madman in the buried ruins for all eternity.

Or so he believed…”

 

 

Why is Xerath a traitor and a villain in this lore

Runaan New PortraitHey, look! Stuff I wrote! :O Blast from the past. Xerath was actually the first character I wrote for entirely (Talon’s judgment was my first), so this is a fun flashback. 

So, no spoilers, but look at it this way: the Shurima event is largely going to be Azir’s story, from Azir’s point of view. Events will be colored in a way that may paint Xerath as the “villain” in this scenario, but that doesn’t necessarily tell you the whole side of his story. 

Imagine what the mages who imprisoned Xerath in his original lore thought of him: a guy who more or less betrayed his people, nuked their civilization, all for what? For power? They didn’t have all the information that you guys have from his Judgment, for example. To them, he was also a very clear-cut “villain.” 

We always wanted Xerath to have a sympathetic backstory, even if he does cross a moral event horizon at some point. Remember when you hated Severus Snape for most of the Harry Potter series, only to have “his side” revealed much, much later, and how game-changing that was? Keep in mind that a story isn’t always told with 100% of the information front loaded. Just because it’s not immediately there, spelled out, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist within the character, or we’ve forgotten about it.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Follow Up

Runaan New PortraitI think the Snape example still applies – sometimes it’s worth it to save character details for later down the story, where the reveal might hold more meaning. Snape was pretty much a bad guy for most of Harry Potter (as it was from Harry’s PoV). Don Draper may seem like an excessively misogynistic jerk through a lot of Mad Men, but revealing details about his upbringing sheds light on why this is a part of him – something that’s not done until much, much later in the series. 

What you seem to be asking for is all the details on every character up front. That isn’t a story… it’s an encyclopedia entry.

[ Link to Post ]

Tell us the perspective before writing one-sided lore

Runaan New PortraitErr, stories are never really ABOUT facts, stories are stories – again, it seems like you’re asking for super objective stuff when stories are subjective things. Also, it would feel clumsy (and again, more like an encyclopedia) to have a “list of points of view” – the story should imply that for itself. In this case, I’m speaking ahead of the story that’s going to unfold for you guys. Hopefully it comes across that the story is primarily about Azir, thus colored by who he is as a character.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Viktor Rework 3 Banner

 

 

The Truer Evolution - Viktor Rework

Solcrushed New PortraitFleshlings, the time of the Glorious Evolution is nigh!

Viktor will be hitting the PBE very soon (hopefully tomorrow). and I am here to give you the numbers & mechanics changes we have for the upcoming PBE patch.

Here are screenshots of the tooltips, I will be adding notes for the changes that cannot be discerned from them. Are you ready?

General

  • Basic attack frames sped up

 

Evolving Technology PassiveGlorious Evolution [ Passive ]

Viktor starts with a Prototype Hex Core that he can upgrade 3 times for 1000 gold each. Each upgrade grants +25 AP, +150 Mana and +1 AP per level, cumulating in +75AP, +6 AP per level, +500 Mana for the Perfect Hex Core.

Each upgrade will allow Viktor to augment one of his basic abilities and when Viktor has upgraded all 3, the Chaos Storm will be augmented also.

 

Power Transfer New IconSiphon Power [ Q ]

  • Range changed to use bounding boxes (Effectively 100 range increase)
  • Cooldown changed to 10/8.5/7/5.5/4
  • Damage reduced to 40/60/80/100/120 (+0.2AP)
  • Empowered autoattack that deals 15~250 (depending on Viktor’s level) (+0.5AP) bonus magic damage on next basic attack.
  • NOTE: The entirety of the damage of the next basic attack is converted to magic (ex: Poppy Q)
  • Shield amount changed to 30/50/70/90/110 (+0.2AP)
  • Shield and speed boost (Augment) duration reduced to 2.5
  • Shield, speed boost and empower all granted immediately upon cast

 

Gravity Field New IconGravity Field [ W ]

  • Range increased to 700
  • Particle starts playing as soon as Viktor starts cast, time between start of cast and enemy being slowed is unchanged
  • Stunned enemies are no longer affected by the slow

 

Death Ray New IconDeath Ray [ E ]

  • Augment Explosion missile speed significantly faster than the original laser

 

 

Chaos Storm New IconChaos Storm [ R ]

  • Cast time reduced to 0.25 (from 0.33)
  • Cooldown reduced to 120/110/100
  • Radius of initial impact increased to 325 (from 250)
  • Radius of DOT zone reduced to 325 (from 350)
  • Storm always moves at maximum speed when moving towards Viktor
  • DOT damage changed to 30/60/90 (+0.2AP)
  • DOT damage interval now 0.5 seconds (from 0.25)
  • No longer silences on impact, interrupts channels instead

 

FEEDBACK POINTS ONCE YOU HAVE THE CHANCE TO PLAY HIM IN PBE

  1. How do you feel about his abilities working with each other, do they have a natural flow to them?
  2. How enticing are the augments in various points in the game? When / what do you think is the best time / order to upgrade them?
  3. Do you notice an improvement in the usability of Chaos Storm? / How does Chaos Storm feel to use for you as a player new to Viktor?
  4. Is the damage on the empowered attack on Siphon Power adequate during all phases of the game? If not, when does it feel out of line?

 

New Viktor Splash Art

 

bBtDMim (1)

 

 

State of Dominion Banner

 

How to preserve Dominion and increase its audience

Ghostcrawler New Portrait Hey guys,

We appreciate the passion, and we’re going to try to address this with a one, two punch. I’m going to talk high-level League design philosophy and Manwolf will jump in with some Dominion specifics.

First, Dominion isn’t going anywhere. Ascension is a new temporary game mode that we hope you’ll enjoy, but it is just using some Dominion assets, not replacing the game.

However, this is a good opportunity to reaffirm why we like temporary game modes in the first place. League is largely centered around Summoner’s Rift. That focus lets us design the game specifically for that map. We can make decisions about everything from movement speed to ult cooldowns with SR in mind. We constrain ourselves if we have to make sure a design change will work on any number of maps, and it bloats the game and introduces bugs when we make a lot of special case rules about items or abilities for the alternate maps. We still do it, but it’s a last resort.

Now that’s largely an argument for why it’s easier for us to develop with a single map focus. But we think there is also benefit for players above and beyond our just being able to offer a better experience. The more maps and alternate game modes we offer, the more it subdivides the player population. We’re at a state where that situation isn’t too bad, but imagine what League would feel like with a dozen maps, and players split among all of them. It’s one of the challenges of matchmaking that the more game modes you support, the harder it is to find a good game for anyone. Furthermore, it just divides up the mind share. Games like soccer and chess aren’t played on a variety of “maps.” There are some variant rules, and they serve similar goals as ours do: to give players something more when they’ve gotten a little bored of the standard way to play.

This is one of the reasons we spun up a team to specifically focus on temporary game modes, such as URF, Doombots and now Ascension. We feel like we can offer a fun and novel way to play League, without the commitment to eternal upkeep, especially for those modes that end being less awesome than some of the others. I mention this, because we think the future of alternate maps for League lies with alternate game modes (and I’m specifically talking maps with different rules — cosmetic art changes to existing maps is a different topic). In the meantime, we do have Twisted Treeline, Crystal Scar and Howling Abyss, and we want to keep supporting them, recognizing that they aren’t as central to the game as Summoner’s Rift and therefore will probably never have the audience of Summoner’s Rift. We also understand the perception of a vicious spiral here. Specifically, the less attention Riot pays to those maps, the less likely the audience is to grow, which means Riot is less likely to pay additional attention, and so on.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Why there’s no Ranked queue for Dominion

ManWolf New PortraitHey dudes,

Let’s chat.

First off, I want to reiterate what Ghostcrawler said. We won’t be removing Dominion nor the Alternate Maps team. We’ve accomplished a lot this last year with both Dom and TT – They’re both in a much better state of balance and overall health than they ever have been. 

Secondly, I’ll be frank. Dominion does not have the player base to support a ranked queue right now. It’s not a matter of diluting the primary game mode or needing extra dev support, the population just isn’t large enough to sustain a healthy queue. How do we know this? Well, we’ve actually done quite a bit of research on how many players are needed for a healthy queue. When it’s not met, we see stuff like increased toxicity, higher turnover, decrease in queue size and a generally degraded play experience. Splitting the already small community into two queues would create a poor experience for both sides. Waiting 30 minutes to play with people with a 500 elo disparity is no fun for anyone. 

tl;dr – Unless something changes, we won’t be enabling ranked.

BUT – Let’s talk about what ranked means to you guys and why you want it. Is it the end of season rewards? Is it quantifying personal skill? Is it about competition? Perhaps there’s an alternative to ranked that can achieve that goal.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Cassiopeia Rework Banner

Not familiar with Cassiopeia’s rework? Here’s the full list of changes.

 

 

STASHU New PortraitHey guys! Sorry for taking so long to move this discussion over to GD, finally made it though! So, let’s recap. Cassiopeia’s getting some changes soon. For a full rundown of the changes, check out my earlier post on the PBE forums. In this post, however, I’d like to address a few notable concerns that have come up here and there, and hopefully ease some worries. I’ll highlight the main changes to her kit at the bottom of the post for those who are unfamiliar with them, but first, the issues:

Most importantly, I’d like to reassure all of our Cassiopeia players that this is not intended as a nerf. If anything, these changes seek to increase her viability. That said, I know a lot of people have put significant efforts into crunching the numbers and comparing them to her old values, and I know her damage numbers may seem a little low. We are pretty confident that these changes have dramatically improved her effective damage output in the late game, though mostly through utility and usability.

For example, imagine if Kog’Maw could not use his basic attack unless he hit his target with his ult beforehand, and then we made a change to allow him to freely use his basic attack– even if we reduced his AD, he would still be doingdramatically more damage. Now, the usability changes to Twin Fang are not quite on this scale, but we believe they really aren’t too far off. Of course, it is fully possible that the damage is tuned too low. If this turns out to be true, we will definitely not hesitate to amp up her numbers. We want Cassiopeia to do tons of damage– so, if her damage doesn’t go crazy come mid-late game, don’t worry, we’ll fix that.

Another common concern is that Cassiopeia is no longer the DoT poison mage that she once was. Honestly, yes, there will be less cases where Cassiopeia throws all her DoTs on her opponent, walks away, and laughs as they slowly perish >=D. I know that this pattern was something that many of us enjoyed, but sadly there were a lot of problems with it. Damage over time is generally under-appreciated, particularly for poisoned the opponent who never has an easy time identifying what’s killing him or what to do about it. Cassiopeia’s abilities were particularly scary versions of this, with incredibly high damage and very low visceral feel–again, especially for the opponent. So, this had to be addressed, at least in some ways. That said, we really want to preserve Cassiopeia’s poison identity, and that’s part of what inspired the new passive.

So, with the changes we arrived at, we believe poison will still do enough damage for the occasional turn-and-burn kill, be less punishing to unsuspecting opponents, AND be an even more important part of Cassiopeia’s consistent engagement with enemies.

Those are the two big concerns I wanted to address here. I’d love to discuss these (and others) further, so please feel free to post below! I’m headed home now, but I’ll take a look tomorrow morning when I get back in and likely hang around here tomorrow to discuss and answer questions. Thanks for reading, and change recap below:

——————————

Here are the main changes:

Old passive: removed!

New passive: Cassiopeia permanently gains a stack of Aspect of the Serpent for each second that she has poisoned an enemy champion, for each poisoned unit that she kills, and every time she hits an enemy champion with Twin Fang. Caps at 400 stacks.

  • 75 stacks: 5% increased Ability Power. Twin Fang restores 6/8/10/12/16 (+0.1 ability power) health.
  • 200 stacks: 10% increased Ability Power. Cassioepeia gains 25% CDR
  • 400 stacks: 30% increased Ability Power.

Noxious Blast:

  • Cooldown increased by 1 second at all ranks
  • AP ratio down to 0.35


Miasma:

  • Damage and ratio down a little
  • Slow up by 10% at all ranks
  • CD up by 5 seconds, but scales with rank, down to approximately the old values


Twin Fang:

  • Ratio now scales with rank, overall increase by 0.05 at rank 5
  • Now checks for poison (and resets cooldown) on cast and on missile arrival
  • Added several smaller checks to make the reset less buggy feeling and unreliable


Petrifying Gaze

  • Now more accurately hits units directly on top of/in front of Cassiopeia (this is a pretty sizeable buff)
  • Cooldown down a little
  • Damage down a little

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

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

 


Champion Rotation Week 27 Season 4 Second Banner

 

The following Champions will be free-to-play until July 29th:


  • Blitzcrank - 3150 IP or 790 RP
  • Dr. Mundo - 1350 IP or 585 RP
  • Gragas - 3150 IP or 790 RP
  • Kog’Maw – 4800 IP or 880 RP
  • Nasus - 1350 IP or 585 RP
  • Skarner – 4800 IP or 880 RP 
  • Trundle - 4800 IP or 880 RP
  • Urgot – 3150 IP or 790 RP
  • Xerath – 4800 IP or 880 RP
  • Ziggs – 6300 IP or 975 RP



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


 

Top Tier Korean Solo Queue Banner

 Note: This article was not written by me, but by a friend of mine who’d like to write for the site.

 

 Hey everyone. In this article I’ll go over last month’s top 5 Champions for each role in Korean Diamond Solo queue. I will list each pick’s win rate, games played and Kills-Deaths-Assists (KDA) ratio so you have a clear idea of each Champion’s potential. There are a lot of unorthodox picks that Koreans use to dominate; personally, I didn’t expect to see some of them make the top 5. Keep reading and find out who the hidden overpowered picks are and why you should consider them for climbing the ladder.

Jungling is my main role, so I’ll start with Korea’s top junglers.

 

 

Top 5 Jungle Picks

 

Fiddlesticks New Portrait

  • 54.39% Win Rate
  • 45,390 Games Played
  • 2.66:1 KDA

 

Pantheon New Portrait

  • 53.48% Win Rate
  • 30,389 Games Played
  • 2.61:1 KDA

 

Shaco New Portrait

  • 53.45% Win Rate
  • 14,747 Games Played
  • 2.53:1 KDA

 

Wukong New Portrait

  • 53.38% Win Rate
  • 8,606 Games Played
  • 2.56:1 KDA

 

Jarvan IV New Portrait

  • 52.54% Win Rate
  • 71,950 Games Played
  • 3.40:1 KDA

 

Before we begin: I know Fiddlesticks can be played support and Wukong, Jarvan and Pantheon can be played top or mid, but the key word here is can. In the majority of games you will see these picks in the jungle. I was honestly surprised when I saw Fiddle and Shaco in the top 5, because they are some of the hardest junglers to play properly. Fiddlesticks and Shaco have always been strong and can still carry an entire team, but only if you are really experienced with them.  They have a plethora of weaknesses your enemies can exploit. so unless you really know what you are doing, I wouldn’t advise playing them in Ranked.

The rest – Pantheon, Wukong and Jarvan IV – as aggressive junglers with a solid early game, are pretty straightforward. They’re not hard to pick up and, as such, get a solid recommendation from me, even if you’re just now exploring jungle picks and don’t have experience playing them.

 

 

Top 5 Mid Picks

 

Note: Kayle data is irrelevant.

 

Talon New Portrait

  • 56.15% Win Rate
  • 18,546 Games Played
  • 2.55:1 KDA

 

Akali New Portrait

  • 54.99% Win Rate
  • 15,934 Games Played
  • 2.31:1 KDA

 

Kayle New Portrait

  • 54.96% Win Rate
  • 35,947 Games Played
  • 2.46:1 KDA

 

Brand New Portrait

  • 53.64% Win Rate
  • 6,469 Games Played
  • 2.38:1 KDA

 

Katarina New Portrait

  • 53.43% Win Rate
  • 35,311 Games Played
  • 2.84:1 KDA

 

Xerath New Portrait

  • 52.16% Win Rate
  • 16,362 Games Played
  • 3.13:1 KDA

 

 Seeing Kayle in the top 5 comes as a shock to no one, but if you’re thinking about playing her, let me stop you right there. In the last week Kayle has dropped down to a 47.99% win rate due to the recent nerfs and I would advise against playing her, at least until she receives some buffs or a new overpowered build is found on her. For these reasons, I’ve included Xerath to fill the missing spot.

 Talon has been a great pick for the assassin role ever since Zed got nerfed. I was most surprised to see Akali and Brand in the top 5. Whenever I’m forced to play mid I tend to pick Akali and I have a pretty good win rate with her (57.1%). That I don’t play laners at all and still manage to do well with Akali should be an indicator that she’s worth considering in Solo Queue. It bears reminding that Akali and Talon can be played in other lanes, but tend to do way better on mid.

 Also, Katarina and Xerath. Xerath has been gaining popularity and even our lord Faker himself has started to play him. All in all some pretty interesting and unexpected mid laners have become popular in the Korean scene and if you’re wondering what to play you should give them a shot.

 

 

Top 5 Top Picks

 

Rumble New Portrait

  • 55.99% Win Rate
  • 14,382 Games Played
  • 2.69:1 KDA

 

Fiora New Portrait

  • 53.35% Win Rate
  • 4,887 Games Played
  • 1.88:1 KDA

 

Lulu New Portrait

  • 53.35% Win Rate
  • 52,419 Games Played
  • 3.14:1 KDA

 

Riven New Portrait

  • 52.50% Win Rate
  • 64,130 Games Played
  • 2.18:1 KDA

 

Tryndamere New Portrait

  • 51.64% Win Rate
  • 8,390 Games Played
  • 1.87:1 KDA

 

 The reason I put Lulu as a top and not a mid laner in my ranking is because I rarely ever see her mid and from watching the pros they also mostly put her top nowadays. As for the fifth place, I was debating between Tryndamere and Ryze, but Ryze is becoming more common on mid than on top.  The clear oddities here are Rumble and Fiora, who, if you’re looking for someone new to play top, are worth your attention.

 

 

Top 5 ADC Picks

 

Kogmaw New Portrait

  • 53.44% Win Rate
  • 39,425 Games Played
  • 2.73:1 KDA

 

Jinx New Portrait

  • 53.23% Win Rate
  • 34,312 Games Played
  • 2.75:1 KDA

 

Draven New Portrait

  • 52.89% Win Rate
  • 20,732 Games Played
  • 2.56:1 KDA

 

Miss Fortune New Portrait

  • 52.38% Win Rate
  • 4,089 Games Played
  • 2.61:1 KDA

 

Sivir New Portrait

  • 52.31% Win Rate
  • 7,073 Games Played
  • 2.91:1 KDA

 

 Seeing Kog and Jinx here is no surprise after the recent Bloodthirster nerfs and the rise of hypercarries. Draven is like the Lee Sin of ADCs – useless if bad and amazing if good. On that note, it makes sense that he’s dominating in high Korean ELO, but you shouldn’t pick him up expecting to win without having a fair bit of practice. Miss Fortune and Sivir are fairly unpopular picks, but they can snowball and become carry machines if played well.

Last, but definitely not least, the supports.

 

 

Top 5 Support Picks

 

Braum New Portrait

  • 54.26% Win Rate
  • 18,095 Games Played
  • 3.20:1 KDA

 

Morgana New Portrait

  • 53.51% Win Rate
  • 58,436 Games Played
  • 3.05:1 KDA

 

Sona New Portrait

  • 52.38% Win Rate
  • 9,340 Games Played
  • 2.92:1 KDA

 

Leona New Portrait

  • 51.54% Win Rate
  • 38,172 Games Played
  • 2.69:1 KDA

 

Blitzcrank

  • 51.49% Win Rate
  • 44,421 Games Played
  • 2.75:1 KDA

 

 Braum being first is to be expected. This guy is insanely overpowered and fun to play; you can try and pick him up, but good luck getting past his 72.5% ban rate. Morgana is the ideal counter to Braum and so logically takes second place. The odd picks here are found later down the ranks;  I never imagined that Thresh and Nami would be overshadowed by Leona and Blitzcrank, but there you have it .

 

 

Why it’s worth to follow the Korean ladder

 

Although a lot of the Champions I listed here are used in NA as well, some of the picks are wildly unexpected and underrated, and thus deserve your attention if you’re looking for a fresh and, possibly, sleeper OP Champion to climb the ladder with. In League, you learn from those better than you and Koreans are leaps and bounds ahead, so learning how they compete is always worthwhile.

 

 

Comments off


Champion Skin Sale July 4 Banner

The following Champions and Skins will be 50% off until July 4th:


Champions


  • Pantheon – 395 RP
  • Xerath – 440 RP
  • Zed – 487 RP

 


Mercenary Katarina – 260 RP


Katarina_1


Pentakill Mordekaiser – 487 RP


Mordekaiser_3


Runeguard Volibear – 487 RP


Volibear_3

 


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


Week 10 Season 4

The following Champions will be free-to-play until April 1st:


Akali – 3150 IP / 790 RP
Jarvan IV – 4800 IP / 880 RP

Miss Fortune – 3150 IP / 790 RP
Sivir – 450 IP / 260 RP

Sona – 3150 IP / 790 RP
Soraka – 450 IP / 260 RP

Teemo – 1350 IP / 585 RP
Xerath – 4800 IP / 880 RP

Xin Zhao – 3150 IP / 790 RP
Yasuo – 6300 IP / 975 RP