Home > LoL News, Red Posts, Riot News > Updates on Caitlyn’s VU and the Reworks for Soraka, Darius, Sona, Diana and Sion, Context for Maokai’s PBE Changes, Why Curse Voice is Still Banned and Lots More

Updates on Caitlyn’s VU and the Reworks for Soraka, Darius, Sona, Diana and Sion, Context for Maokai’s PBE Changes, Why Curse Voice is Still Banned and Lots More

June 21st, 2014


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Red Post Collection

Single Posts – Darius Rework, Sona, Sion, Headhunter Caitlyn & Much More

 

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Direction for Caitlyn’s Visual Update Banner


Caitlyn’s slated for a visual update and how her design would shift is still being discussed.



[ Question ] Will Caitlyn still be a sexy sniper woman after her VU?


Riot Paddo Button Rioter Riot Paddo: I have nothing to do with a VU but besides her officer skin when I think of Cait I don’t see her as a super sexualized champion comparatively to the rest of the female cast. Most of her skins she is pretty covered up not showing a lot of cleavage and at most she just wears a lot of short shorts and skirts.



Does this image work for capturing Caitlyn’s personality?


Caitlyn Redesign


IronStylus Riotlink Button IronStylus: I may or may not have this image in my reference file for an eventual or non-eventual VU.

 

 


[ Follow-up ] Caitlyn’s design


IronStylus Riotlink Button IronStylus: Let’s get slightly less cryptic. I’ll try for at least an 8/10.

There’s a fine line where any champion update is concerned. Yep, that hat is goofy. It’s straight outta Willy Wonka. Egads, that dress, what is she, a ballerina? WHY ALL THE BELTS, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, THE BELTS. However, despite all that inconsistency, there’s charm. I’m coining a term, right here, right now. “Incongruity charm”. The positive emotional responses derived from particular visual aspect of a character that despite making no logical or stylistic sense allows a character to be a) recognized distinctly and b) creates uniqueness. 

That’s what we don’t want to kill, the distinct recognizably and uniqueness of a champion. We want to find a way to make some of that contrast actually consistent without dismantling the character. For me, that means keeping particular reads of a character. It might mean ditching the tutu, but it might mean giving her a long/half coat that creates a similar silhouette. It might mean keeping a hat that’s to a certain extent over-sized, but give it a reason for it to be a little unusual, whether that be by adding functionality, adding fashion or creating story.

For Caitlyn all of the above apply in terms of a solution, I feel. We can turn that hat into something that has functionality that Piltover gadgetry is known for, we can make it something that feels integrated into her fashion persona and we can allow it to be a marker of her story as a member of law enforcement. 

I actually see Caitlyn being able to get a way with high-fashion garb. I wouldn’t yank it right from Victorian London, but I would want to bring it in line with what Piltover is manifesting as in newer characters. That style is more evident and unified in Vi and Jayce. I think it’s only appropriate that Caitlyn follows a similar progression. Making sure that charm is intact but dialing back on some of the incongruity.



[ Opinion ] The above concept just doesn’t fit Caitlyn. It’s too much steampunk, not enough wackiness


IronStylus Riotlink Button IronStylus: It’s not so much about execution nor literal translation of this art. When embarking on any character, a new champion or a VU, I gather reference. I gather a LOT of reference. Sometimes it’s photo reference, sometimes other artist’s reference. It’s reference for design, style, technical execution, etc. This piece happens to be among my reference as is has something to contribute to the conversation. Not necessarily at face value, or from a polish standpoint, but because it’s a player’s interpretation and they’ve let me see the champion through their eyes. I find that extremely valuable.




PBE Changes to Maokai Explained Banner


Maokai got a major overhaul in today’s PBE patch. How will these changes affect his gameplay?


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Clarity on PBE changes


SmashGizmo Button Rioter SmashGizmo: Couple of notes here on the Maokai changes that aren’t immediately apparent from looking at the tooltips on PBE.

W no longer has a cast time, essentially this makes it easier for him to reactively use this ability for either the fast snare or to duck a spell with the untargetability.

Sapling movespeed starts lower at 450, but now scales with Maokai’s movespeed, this is why we had to hit the damage on the skill, the damage is more reliable throughout the game and thus the 460 total base damage was a bit whacky.



What’s with the changes to Twisted Advance [ W ] ?


SmashGizmo Button Rioter SmashGizmo: Totally get this confusion and I’ll do my best to clarify how we got to where we currently are on the W changes.

Essentially the start of the changes to the character were centered around the ult and making it more usable and the initial proposal for ult change was a slightly less polished version of the change you see on PBE today. We liked most of what we saw with this version of the ult, but it left a fundamental flaw in the character where he had an ultimate that made him want to stick by and protect his teammates that was constantly at odds with the 650 range snare dash that screamed “initiate on the opposing backline.” The two mechanics didn’t make sense together, so we set out to re-focus the W around shorter range, but faster teamfight positioning that was most effective vs. the opposing front line to keep Maokai closer to his allies. This is also the reason why the damage paradigm shifted from flat damage to % damage; we wanted Maokai’s W to be more target agnostic so that you can feel good about W’ing to that opposing Vi rather than always feeling compelled to dive the opposing squishies.

The results of these changes have been pretty promising in playtests. Maokai still has decent ability to start fights by opening with Sapling slow to make up the extra range lost on the W, but it doesn’t feel quite as inevitible and frustrating when playing against, and meanwhile Maokai gets to feel much better about using the W to get in useful positions for protecting other members of his team. I want to continue to monitor this and test my assumptions about how this is playing out on PBE, but as I said, thus far I’ve been pleased with the result that this change has on it’s kit alongside the other changes that support it (the E for giving him some reach in ganks/initiation scenarios and the R for preferable teamfight positioning).

Hope this helps you understand where we’re coming from on this!



[ Question ] Will you also make the items for tanky junglers better?


SmashGizmo Button Rioter SmashGizmo: Yes, as we’ve said in the forecast, itemization is also being looked at and improved for Tank Junglers this patch, which involves some changes that I won’t go into on the Golem line since we’re still hashing out some of the details before sharing them with yall. Still not sure when they’ll be ready for PBE, but I can tell you that the benefits that tanks are seeing from these changes in internal playtests have been very promising.



[ Question ] How will these changes affect AP Maokai?


SmashGizmo Button Rioter SmashGizmo: Hard for me to tell what exactly it does for AP Mao. Q is essentially unchanged for AP Mao. W is better as a 1 pointer due to the base damage scaling naturally with game time, but the AP ratio doesn’t catch up to live until the target hits 2K HP, sooooo kinda tough to tell?

E retains it’s high ratio, but takes a base damage hit, BUT also gets extra movespeed off your movespeed and slows the opponents, so his poke game becomes more reliable, but less punishing in terms of damage.

Ult is probably strictly buffed for AP Mao since now he can follow his target to nuke them with it.

I think it’s a small net positive for the AP build, but enough parts are moving around for him and we’ve gotten pretty limited testing on it since it is an off-build, so I can’t really say with confidence where it all puts him. It’s a neat little off-build though, and I’d love for it to still be as effect as it is now, so I’ll be keeping an eye on how AP Maokais perform with these changes and adjust ratios around for him if he’s struggling compared to the current power (or if by some chance I’m missing something and he goes crazy with it :p).



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Curse Voice is still forbidden! Why?! (I can’t think of a better summary, I don’t know why it’s still banned).


My thoughts on Curse Voice


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Riot Sargonas Button Rioter Riot Sargonas: Hey guys, I just wanted to pop in here. It is NOT ok to use Curse Voice yet. Yes they removed timers, but there are still other concerns we had outlined in our original statement regarding voice chat and overlays. (timers were only 1 of three issues we had with the application at that time.) We’re working closely with Curse to help them make changes that will fit within the guidelines of our ecosystem, so hopefully in the future it will be in the clear once more, as we DO want this to work out well for everyone. However, at this time nothing has changed since our last posting about the issue a few weeks ago.



Why Curse Voice is against Riot policies


Riot Sargonas Button Rioter Riot Sargonas: Since this is a hot topic again, let me outline some clarity on why programs like Curse Voice, Razer Comms, and others are considered against our policies. 

We do not have an issue with people using voice chat, per-say. Skype, Ventrilo, Teamspeak, we know these things are used regularly and that’s fine. Our concerns are when programs interact with the game (during the champion select lobby experience for example) and prompt you with overlays that say “Hey, people on your team are running XYZ software. Click here to chat with them.” That’s where our concerns come in as this is doing several things, including breaking the “should not interfere with the player experience from Play to End of Match Screen”.

I also want to point out you’re perfectly fine to have curse voice installed and use it with other games, we wont ding you for simply having it. We’re even working with them to hopefully find a solution where everyone, especially the players, win.



[ Off-topic ] Why are you working on voice chatting instead of fixing drophacks?


Phreak Button Rioter Phreak: I can promise you that the network engineers are not the ones handling Riot-Developer relations, or detailing Third-Party-Programs rulings.





[ Question ] Why not add your own voice chat option to the game?


Riot Sargonas Button Rioter Riot Sargonas: Adding our own is something we are researching. Not saying we definitely will, or wont, but we are sincerely taking the community sentiment into consideration and investigating possibilities. What may come of that, who knows.. but it’s not something we’ve closed the book on.




Update on Soraka's Rework Banner


How is Soraka’s rework coming along? Game designer Vesh has some thoughts to share with the community on Soraka’s healer theme. 


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My ideas for Soraka


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[ Question ] Is it true Morello doesn’t want Soraka to be a healer?


Vesh Button Rioter Vesh: Actually, Morello has been the one who has really been driving the vision of her remaining as a healer above all other things, at any cost.

pls nobody tell him i told u dis. it would ruin his reputation of hating healerz


 

[ Follow-up ] So Soraka will remain a dedicated healer?


Vesh Button Rioter Vesh: That’s the goal . We sat down and said “what would we be willing to sacrifice to make Soraka the best healer we can” and we decided the answer was everything (if we had to).

 

 

[ Question ] How do you balance a healer to not stay back and just heal everyone from safety?


Vesh Button Rioter Vesh: This is absolutely the biggest risk with a healing champion. Heals undermine action and make it feel pointless to engage with the enemy. One way we are looking at solving this is the idea of the “infuse healer” who martyrs herself by giving up her health to an ally. Ideally, she has some interactive way to regenerate her health if she is successful (for instance, some form of offensive spell with adequate counterplay). If you make the healer more at risk as they heal (by making them at lower and lower health) then the “kill the healer” gameplay becomes much more realizable.



[ Question ] Will she have both health and mana costs?


Vesh Button Rioter Vesh: It would probably also need a mana cost to make Soraka not feel bad about buying all the mana items that we push supports towards. I’ll be able to talk more about what is working and what types of things we’re trying as we build more confidence in the direction. Right now we are really just exploring whether this healing pattern can work and feel fair and impactful for both teams.



[ Question ] Will you keep Starcall unchanged?


Vesh Button Rioter Vesh: Starcall is literally just a stat-check. It also tells Soraka to build tanky and stand in the middle of the fight. These things directly conflict with the goals of making an interactive character who can also be a best-in-class healer as her unique support niche.




[ Question ] Why not add risk to healing by making Soraka’s heal melee-ranged?


Vesh Button Rioter Vesh: Haha, don’t want to talk about specifics too much while we are still uncofident, but that’s literally the change I made for this week’s testing. It solves that problem to some degree but feels realllly bad as Soraka when people are over walls or running from you and you can’t help them. (trying a new passive that might help with this though)



[ Opinion ] Soraka’s pushing strengths are a big part of her niche in lane


Vesh Button Rioter Vesh: Didn’t say she wouldn’t still have that aspect. The auto-target starcall that just hits stuff for damage can’t stay though. Can still find ways to preserve the pushing aspect without sacrificing interactive gameplay.



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New theme for Baron’s pit




[ Update ] More ideas for Diana


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gypsylord Button Rioter Gypsylord: Hey guys,

Thanks a ton for all the feedback. Am reading through the whole thread.

Again, it’s unlikely these changes will happen. I’m just spitballing with you guys to better understand Diana’s identity and what could be done with her.

Some general trends I’m picking up:
Assassin pattern would be missed.
What’s a “fighter” anyways and how does that help define a champ’s identity?
R damage spike at 6 would be important to laning and sorely missed.
Maybe switch R and E?
If she doesn’t just kill a guy how does she survive in a fight?

Will try to respond to some of this stuff later this evening when I get more time. Gotta get back to work on next champ D:



[ Question ] How are Sona and Sion’s reworks coming alone?


MeddlerButton Rioter Meddler: Actively in progress is about all I can say at the moment. For Sona timing’s going to depend on availability of art support once possible design changes are locked down. Sion on the other hand’s a really large job (same amount of work as a new champion in many regards, but with more skins) so he’s coming along well but a mammoth project.



[ Follow-up ] Sona rework


MeddlerButton Rioter Meddler: We’re investigating ways to address some issues with her auras at the moment (how can we can that power more appreciable, get some additional skill differentiation). Some more details/discussion here.




[ Update ] Darius Rework


morello Button Rioter Morello: These are very specific and not ready to talk in detail about those (I always think the details are pretty mutable anyhow!). But I can answer a few queastions:

  • What about bleed damage? I think Bleed Damage should be rewarded more in the skill damage ramp than the bleeds. Maybe at higher levels is could go up over the current amount, but I’d imagine the bleed damage itself wouldn’t be seeing huge increases.

  • Will he get tankiness? In this Darius model, he actually needs to be very tanky – agreed. We’re requiring him to spend more time in combat to score kills, so more tankiness is required to get him to be able to do that. Some of this would be itemization, some maybe in skills, or base stats.

  • His kiting issue will NOT be addressed – on purpose. This version of Darius would eventually win any long fight. The key play to deal with Darius is to peel him and keep him off you. I think being kitable is a fine weakness, and there’s quite a few champs with moveblocks who can be played for those players who hate being kited 🙂

Does this help?



Thoughts on Headhunter Caitlyn’s looks


My criticism of Headhunter Caitlyn


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Riot Whist Button Rioter Riot Whist: Headhunter Cait is just the headhunter line (which is heavily predator inspired) and is not made to be a future-tech skin.

This doesn’t close the door to a future/mecha/battlecast/pulsefire/whatever kind of skin at all. I’d love to work on a future tech Caitlyn skin, though I’d prefer to wait until after her VU.


Also in defense of cleavage/miniskirt…
That’s Cait. Take a peek at the base model, big boobs and a miniskirt. You’re noticing her boobs more probably because the texture work is better and they look like boobs, not a shelf. Part of the task of Skins team is to make sure skins still look like the base champion. We are looking into addressing some of the concerns though.


A lot of the complaints about the skin seem more like a discussion about Cait as a character and would fit more into a VU discussion. We here at Riot all agree (at least those I’ve spoken with) that a Sheriff probably shouldn’t have a miniskirt.

 


[ Question ] Will we have a better explosion animation for the Nexus when the game is over?


RiotForScienceButton Rioter RiotForScience: Yup I can though I am certain that the end-of-game-ceremony is stilll work-in-progress





[ Update ] Indicators for Blue/Red buffs on Summoner’s Rift


Button Rioter Les Nomerables: We’ll be creating new ones later in the process 🙂



Riot Games paying employees to quit


Link to announcement (scroll a bit down).


Riot WhistButton Rioter Riot Whist: I expect utilizing this program to be a fairly rare thing thing as stated we are very careful with hires.

This is something other companies like google and amazon have done for years now. It’s a win for both sides, we don’t have new employees who aren’t enjoying their job not giving it their all, and they don’t have to hang around at a job they don’t like.


Riot’s an amazing place to work for a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean it’s for everybody.


We aren’t paying people to leave, Riot doesn’t initiate this. The new hire is the one who decides to leave and get money for it.



[ Follow-up ]


Riot WhistButton Rioter Riot Whist: It’s only for new hires in their first 60 days. If they’re doing a terrible job, we will let them go with no pay if need be (though I doubt we’d ever consider firing in the first 60 days and they’d have adequate warning they need to up their game first). It’s up to THEM to decide if they want to leave.

I don’t know where this elaborate sketchy scheme came about, but Riot would not do this. No sane company would do this.
If you aren’t working out with the company we let you go. There’s no “hey you’re going to get fired in a few months”. That would be a really dumb move.



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