Red Post Collection: Lucian not going live with patch, Update on Olaf changes & Sivir VU, and more!

Posted on at 4:09 PM by Moobeat
This afternoons red post collection features Riot Pwyff with an update on Lucian's availability, SmashGizmo with his closing thoughs on the "Let's talk about Olaf" thread, IronStylus briefly touching on the progress of Sivir's visual update, and a few odds and ends on champion visual updates.
Continue reading for more information!

Lucian "not gonna be going live with this Patch"
Riot Pwyff has posted a small update on the Lucian sitaution, revealing that he will not be going live with this patch ( 3.10 ).

"I know everyone’s itching to get their hands on Lucian so you can wreck face with him, but he’s not gonna be going live with this patch. We’d like to keep him on PBE for some additional testing and analysis. There’s still a little work to finish before he’s ready for prime time.

As we continue to shoot for more stable, bug-free and quality patches, sometimes content – including champions! – will be spending a little more time marinating on the PBE before we can flip the switch for everyone. Just because a champ’s on the PBE doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily be released in the next patch. We’re more concerned about getting it right and making sure the live experience is great! 
If you’ve got a PBE account, please help us by playing some games with Lucian and reporting your feedback on the PBE community boards (http://community.pbe.leagueoflegends.com/). 
Thanks for your patience!"
Over on reddit, Pwyff  also added:
"ONCE AGAIN NOT GOING LIVE THIS PATCH CYCLE."

He continued, shedding more light on the situation and explaining why it isn't easy to just remove Lucian from the files so summoner's don' get their hopes up.
"This I'll answer. Basically we're really focused on stability at this point in time (and you may have seen a few road bumps in the past little while), so when we wanted to hold Lucian back to address balance concerns / polish / testing, there also needed to be a decision to take Lucian "out" of the patch. 
Generally speaking due to the way we deploy patches and the way we structure patches, removing Lucian from a build introduces a lot of risk (for example, what if there's a line in the code that calls to a Lucian file but it's not there and now the client breaks). Ultimately the decision was made to leave Lucian in the build but to not turn him on because that's the stable thing to do. The problem - of course - is that players will see him and expect him to be in, but they won't be able to play him. We're tanking that because we chose stability.

Lucian is just near and dear to our hearts (he's been in iteration for some time now), so getting him right is important."
Over on reddit, ZenonTheStoic also mentioned
"Let me just jump in here to say that balancing is not a blocker here. He's been signed off competitively for two weeks now. However there are still some opportunities where we can make more awesome for you. I hope you'll agree when he goes live that it was worth the wait."

How's Sivir Coming Along?
Now that Master Yi's VU is out and summoners are clamouring for the next one, IronStylus squawked out a quick update on Sivir's upcoming visual update, saying she is still moving through the pipeline.
"Sivir will be.. "sooner"... than later. Can't comment when, and can't comment about cadence or who specifically is next, but she's maybe.. 3/4ths the way through production. We're focusing most on her skins. At the moment, the base is in polish phase I believe.

Sion has been pushed down the priority list due to how challenging the gameplay aspect is."
In response to this, one summoner begged that Warwick desperately needed the next visual update. IronStylus responded:
"I'd say Karthus, Taric, Ryze, to name a few are higher priority than Warwick."

Closing Notes on Olaf
( This is an ongoing discussion. Click here to read up on the previous discussion: 1, 2 , 3)

SmashGizmo dropped by the "Let's talk about Olaf" thread to deliver a final update and apologize for failing to meet summoner's expectations that it was going to be a "Xelnath thread".
"Just popping back in for one last time to give a final update and explain some things. 
First off, yes, I am pretty much done with this thread and need to be so. I get that everyone just wants a Xelnath thread and I'm sorry that I'm not giving it, however I would like to point out that everyone works in their own way and frankly I'm not capable of managing a thread's conversation nearly as well as Xelnath. Dude's just a beast when it comes to processing what's going on in a thread and quickly engaging in back and forths and I'm just not. I read every post, carefully type out my thoughts, come back and have 15 more pages to read. That's just the type of forum poster I am. So with the speed at which this thread grew, I got overwhelmed and found keeping up with the thread to be more work than I really had time for between my other work responsibilities as well as the nitty gritty of actually implementing my iterations to Olaf, getting them playtested, gathering feedback, rinsing and repeating. This resulted in more reading from me and less posting, which seems to have kindled more than a little bit of resentment towards me from a number of vocal posters in here, which I suppose is fair due to what you guys have come to expect from threads like this from Xelnath. So the extent to which this thread fails is mostly on me and failing to meet your expectations, but the thread is most certainly failing right now and seems to mostly be the same handful of people saying the same criticisms over and over again, which isn't particularly conducive to useful discussion.

That being said, there's been a lot of useful discussion that I've been using to inform my decisions on changes and I do want to thank everyone for taking the time to share their thoughts on Olaf. I'm sure that my work on the character will be bettered by the immense contribution of the community and I hope that the final product of these changes reflects this and gives Olaf players some much needed love."
After being asked WHEN we can expect these Olaf changes, SmashGizmo noted:
"I'd love to say 3.11 with confidence, but I'm still iterating on changes and until I'm sure my changes make Olaf both healthier for the game and strong enough to compete, he will not ship. 3.11 is a possibility, but due to the nature of the process, I can't make any promises on when this will go out, as the real answer essentially boils down to "when he's ready.""

Visual Update Discussion
Riot Dudebro also briefly touched on a few visual update questions, including explaining VU's in general.
"Well for the most part we are talking VU. When we dive into a VU, we usually make a new rig, a new model, all new textures, all new animations, all new spell effects, all new sounds, new VO, the whole nine. We are trying to treat them as if they are a brand new champ so we use all the same resources available to us as the folks working on new champs. My person mission while doing VU's is make their spell effects look cleaner and easier to read, as well as some back end stuff to make the implementation of the particles super clean and efficient. That way it's easier for us to make skins in the future :) 
So it's the whole nine yards basically.'
When asked if Jax will ever get some work, he noted:
"As far as Jax goes, he'll get an update. One thing I've learned while being at Riot is Jax fans are diehard fans (and I mean this in a good way). Like most people are like "yeah I love "_____" champ, so cool" but Jax players are like "J@KHDKHD%^@!!!!!" So when we do get around to reworking Jax; we'll need extra time to match the passion Jax players have."
As for Kassadin:
"We agree, Kassadin needs a re-do. We have an awesome character artist who loves Kass; so be assured you have someone here who shares your same vision. I know he will make him look amazing. Maybe he'll even learn how to play him better :)"

Ququroon also jumped in, responding to one summoner's well constructed list of champions in need of a VU, noting a few important goals for visual updates:
"Wyl, the things you touch on here are great. I would like to interject one more possible level of criteria that we find very important: silhouette. Basically, having every single champion have a very unique and distinct read, even when just looking at them at the most basic level. No color, no animations, just the shape of the body itself. 
We have certain champions that do this amazingly, and you could never not distinguish them. A champion like Ahri works well, with her tails add to her silhouette. Champions on Live that could probably use a lot of love in this category are things like Lux, Fiora, Lee Sin, Riven, etc. They could all be bumped out a little bit, just for better visual flavor and distinction. 
Of course, some champions are just easier to push this than others (e.g., Kog'maw, Aatrox), but there are still areas where this can be improved upon, even on our more basic humans. This is one of the many factors that we look at!

The second thing I'd like to mention in regards to your list is Texture Upgrades! We have some champions that simply have a bad texture, but actually have pretty decent geo. Even some of our older champions meet this model. In the case that a champion would be extremely far out on the VU schedule, I'd like to think that hitting their texture in the meanwhile would be a great way to solve some of the current ickiness that our game has in it."
He continued, expanding on silhouettes by replying to a summoner claimng that there isn't a lot of differences between the female champions.
"I think you're referring to a slightly different issue. Body type and Silhouette aren't exactly the same. Body type will inform Silhouette, yes. If you look at the examples, Lux is indicative of the differences here. 
Lux has a fairly unique body type within our females. However, if you look at just her, it's probably not all that unique from a silhouette standpoint. She could use some larger shapes in places, but not ones that would affect her smaller body.

We have opposite cases too, where the character has a unique silhouette, but perhaps not the most unique body type. These cases are things that we learn from, and try to avoid in the future. However! I don't feel that it'd be good for a VU to remove an existing body type. Annie will remain a small girl, Sivir will remain a powerful woman, Twisted Fate will still be a suave lounge lizard. This isn't a golden rule (I don't know if any rule should be), but messing with preconceived notions of a character is dangerous territory, as people would be quick to find examples we haven't done as well on in the past.

I know that the "Zyra" body type might have seen a bit too many takes in quick succession, but I do think that body shape is good overall. Variety is good, and we're constantly striving to improve, especially making sure to reflect on less than ideal situations that may have occurred.

I would like to state that this isn't a female only issue though (Riven/Lee Sin look a bit too similar for my liking, and others enjoy using the Akali/Olaf example), and that we are looking at every silhouette. Ezreal could also use tweaks like this, and would totally see that during his inevitable VU."

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