Another Update on Skarner
( Note: This is an on-going discussion on future Skarner changes. Read up on the previous posts here: 1 , 2 , 3 )RiotScruffy is back with another update on the Skarner changes that are currently being tested internally.
"Hey guys, sorry for the long silence. Stuff is going really well for Skarner over here, and I may have more updates soon. We have done a bunch of playtests on the new kit and are getting lots of good feedback.
Coupling the attack speed with the Q has been super well received. It feels very natural and his ramping threat/brawling feels stronger than ever.
W speed increase has also been very effective in making him get into fights more consistently but not without some effort still.
E is a mixed bag, and we are still testing around with a few different versions of the spell. Some liked the on next hit version of the ability, some were lukewarm to it. I'll update if we come to any resolutions. I have seen a few good ideas on here for the E as well that I might try out.
The changes to R have been 100% awesometown. Everyone feels like it is more consistent and meeting the players expectations when they activate the ability.
I too would like some new Skarner skins... I'll see what we can do."
World Championship Tickets on Sale August 15th
If you are planning to attending the upcoming League of Legends World Championship in person, I have some important news for you! Riot has announced tickets will go on sale at August 15th at 12 PM PDT / 21:00 CEST, as well as released a schedule for the event which takes place between September 15th to October 4th.
"Following our recent announcement about the Season 3 World Championship, which included unveiling the Staples Center as the venue for the finals, we now have more to share on how you can watch all of the action live.
The World Championship will consist of 14 teams from North America, Europe, Korea, Southeast Asia, China, and a qualifying International Wildcard, competing to forever etch their name onto the coveted Summoner's Cup. The entire Championship tournament takes place over three weeks from September 15 to October 4. Individual tickets will be available for all Championship game days and every match is played in front of a live audience at a Los Angeles studio. The semifinals move to the Galen Center and then the final best of five match plays out at Staples.
Tickets go on sale on August 15 at 12PM PDT / 21:00 CEST. When tickets become available, use the purchase links in the schedule below to directly buy the days you want to attend.
CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULEStay tuned to the lolesports site for more information!
Date Stage # of Games Location Purchase Link Sun, Sep 15 Group Stage 7 Games Studio Not yet available Mon, Sep 16 Group Stage 6 Games Studio Not yet available Tue, Sep 17 Group Stage 7 Games Studio Not yet available Thu, Sep 19 Group Stage 7 Games Studio Not yet available Fri, Sep 20 Group Stage 6 Games Studio Not yet available Sat, Sep 21 Group Stage 7 Games Studio Not yet available Mon, Sep 23 Quarterfinal 2 Matches (Bo3) Studio Not yet available Tue, Sep 24 Quarterfinal 2 Matches (Bo3) Studio Not yet available Fri, Sep 27 Semifinal 1 Match (Bo5) Galen Not yet available Sat, Sep 28 Semifinal 1 Match (Bo5) Galen Not yet available Fri, Oct 4 Final 1 Match (Bo5) Staples Not yet available
Look for more details shortly, appearing here first on lolesports.com. And make sure to follow us on Twitter at @lolesports as another way to get info the instant it's available."
RiotRadioblur on new Item Icons
As I'm sure you've already noticed, several items - Abyssal Scepter, Catalyst, Deathfire Grasp, Glacial Shroud, Haunting Guise, Hextech Revolver, Thornmail, and Vampiric Scepter - got updated icons in the 3.10 patch.
Here's RiotRadioblur discussing the new icons, why they needed to be updated, and sharing a little back story on each one.
I’m sure you’ve noticed some of the items have had their art updated and replaced. As the aesthetic of League becomes more cohesive and solidifies in quality, we’re working hard to update all of our old art. In particular, the Visual Design team is working hard to innovate and improve on our user interface and visual identity. We have already been raising the icon quality bar on our champions and summoner icons, and it’s about time items got some love. Because these icons are so important to our players, I thought I’d walk through some of the decision-making process involved in developing the new aesthetic.
The primary goal of the reworks was to improve clarity, and then to build thematic connections between the item visuals and the other aspects of their design. Familiarity was a big concern as we began working on these—how far can we push the designs until they become too hard to adapt to?—but a few icons had very little in their visuals that could be held onto. When we were looking into which icons to re-design first, we wanted to seek out the ones that presented some of the biggest challenges to redesign, the ones whose themes seemed seriously out of line with their visuals, or whose current art didn’t localize well. From there, we wanted to find ways to build them into the rest of our game’s world in a way that felt consistent and logical.
Let’s look at how each one was chosen and how we developed them:
Abyssal’s older art was a bone on a stick. It was pretty lacking in terms of design, and nobody really felt that the whole “abyss” theme was captured by it. The first explorations toyed with keeping the skull, but it just wasn’t exciting enough. Somebody on the team suggested pushing more in the direction of something extremely warped, exaggerated, and unusual, but retaining the feeling that this was the skull of some terrifying creature. The more we pushed, the more we realized a hybridization of the two would provide the most unsettling result. A vaguely human skull at the end of a staff made out of its own spinal column, wrapped in worn strips of leather. The bone went from bleached white to dark, decayed brown, which also brought out the silhouette and distanced the design even further from appearing too human. The final touch came from one of our splash artists, Alex Flores, who really pushed the S shape in the staff to where it is now. In the end, we had this:
Catalyst the Protector
Catalyst’s upgrade had a few very specific goals going in. The first was to change the rune to match the kind of shape language we would see in our game today. The shape we used was designed by one of our other Visual Designers, Zach Roberson, and it definitely feels like it belongs with the world we’re building. The second consideration we had was to make it purple to match the idea of blue and red crystals combining into one new item. The result was something with a really unique color palette and silhouette, brought up to the quality we want to see out of every new icon:
More than any other icon so far, Deathfire Grasp’s redesign pushed the limits of what we could do with changes. The original icon felt like such a missed opportunity, and had too much overlap with Abyssal Scepter’s visuals. We wanted to separate the two, and make each feel more unique. And then there was this great theme, right there in the name “Death Fire Grasp.” It sort of stuck out in our earliest discussions as the obvious thematic tie, but being obvious isn’t always the best way to design. So we tried a few iterations and different ideas, but in the end we kept coming back to a staff with some sort of hand or claw shape on the end of it holding a spirit flame. Once we decided where we were taking it, we felt like the next step was to bring it into the world. Where would you find a staff holding a captured soul? The Shadow Isles. Looking at champs like Hecarim and Thresh, we tried to give the staff some of the same flair, all the way down to the color pallette, blue-green effects and lighting, with warm iron for the metals. The new design was a huge departure from the original, and we had a lot of internal discussions about whether we were pushing too far. In the end we agreed the added clarity and visual theming made the icon more distinct and easier to associate with its thematic. And here we have all of that process in its final form:
Glacial shroud also really missed its thematic. We started looking at this around the time we were developing the Freljord event, and with all this lovely new art for our wintery domain, it made sense to make Glacial Shroud more “glacial.” The first step was to remove the lion. After abstracting the details of the face, we saw some shapes that reminded us of the knot shapes on Howling Abyss, so we adjusted them all to fit in. The blue ring matched the True Ice of Freljord, so we inlaid a ring of it onto the medallion. Next was taking the gold and toning it down to the kind of muted color palettes we see on Trundle, Sejuani, and the other Freljord champs. Finally we took those wispy shapes and hinted at a frost-magic fabric the pendant holds together as a brooch, giving us a very literal shroud to play with. The new icon went from being something a bit out of place, to something that could really fit in to our world:
For Haunting Guise we set out to actually make something a bit spooky. A clown face was a specific nightmare, but we wanted something that would feel appropriately haunting to anybody. The shape of the mask we ended up with had a lifeless, cold feel. The red and white hinted at something Ionian, and the green magic matched some of what we were seeing out of champs like Karma and Master Yi. We drew on lots of our Ionian champs for reference, but the biggest help on this icon came from the Visual Development department, where they really helped us nail down that Ionian style. The result:
Hextech isn’t extremely well-defined to our players right now, but there’s plenty in the various champions to suggest at what it could be. Again, Visual Development played a big role in helping us achieve a look the felt appropriately “hextech,” and helped steer the direction to something more specifically Piltovian, which felt like a natural fit for the item’s origins. The gun replicates a lot of the aesthetics seen in Jayce, Vi, and Graves, where magic and technology play off one another to form unique implements with an unusual design principal. The gun doesn’t function without the magic, and the magic is useless without the gun to harness it. It’s a symbiotic relationship:
Right out the gate, Thornmail felt like Noxus. Bearhug your enemies with spiked mail? Totally Noxus. Again Visual Development helped us find that perfect mix of utilitarian design and aggressive, militaristic aesthetics that makes it fit so well into our world. Darius, Draven, and other Noxian champs heavily influenced the design, right down to the spiked shoulders, dark grey metals, and the red background (shying away from the pinker hue we were seeing before). The process on Thornmail really seemed to flow as soon as we knew it was Noxian, and I think the result really shows for it:
Vampiric Scepter is another Noxian artifact, this time drawing from Vlad’s aesthetics to really drive home the vampire aspect inherent to the item. It took a few tries to get here—some of the early iterations involved a bat with scythe even—but the result is something a lot more mature than the older, goofier icon. We managed to preserve and abstract the face and scythe shapes, and give the metal a really unique gold treatment to match the rendering we see in Vlad’s splash. The final touch was making the magic feel like is was reaching out and sucking in energy from the space around it, drawing on the strength of others. The final icon is a lot more menacing than before:
And that’s them! The Visual Designers here at Riot worked really hard to bring out the best in these icons, and I think it shows. Lots of thought, time, and energy were poured into these to make them the best icons we can make, and all the other teams who dog-piled them really helped us go that extra mile. A huge shout out to everybody involved!
I’ll be in this thread to address any comments or questions, so if you have anything to say just let me know and I’ll do my best to respond. It’s great to have these out, and we hope you all enjoy!"
He continued, responding to several summoner questions, concerns, and complaints about the new icons - including mentioning the time it takes to make these icons, plans to update other icons, and more.
Abyssal Scepter: So basically, you turned it from a skull on a stick to a skull on a spine.
Okay?Fair point. I guess it's mostly that the old one lacked any real design and wasn't super interesting. The base was there, it just needed to be pushed. :P
I like it. The only one I don't fully like the change on is Vampiric Scepter. I would have liked to see more of the skull/face in there.
I tried to keep the implied face in there with the fangs and eyes, but keeping the skull ended up making the whole item feel super clunky. Kind of a shame, because in theory it's pretty cool, I just found it really difficult to execute on and still make look like the Vampiric stuff we see with Vlad. Thanks very much for the feedback though!
I think the new icons are brilliant! And I like the whole explaining the process behind each design change too!
Hope you get round to updating all the remaining ones soon so we don't have the clash of art styles...
Will you be updating summoner spell icons too?
I assure you, no icon will go untouched (unless it released more recently--Orb of Winter, Spectral Cowl, and Seeker's Armguard are already in-style, as are all the newer champs since Annie's rework). Look forward to them soon! :D
love the new icons.
how long does it take to redesign one? And how many people are involved?
Are there plans to change the other icons too?
It varies from icon to icon. Ability icons usually take about two days to bring to final polish, since we paint them at a much higher resolution than seen in game. Item icons can take a bit longer, because a big part of the icon is doing actual redesigns and running the concept by people to make sure the shape language and colors are working. The average time for these item icons was about 4 days apiece, though they were staggered a bit. The overall work time on these was about a month in between other icon projects, and lots of testing and reviews were done before we decided to put them in.He continued, responding to criticism on the time it takes to main them and questions if Riot Radioblur is responsible for champion icons as well.
Also, keep your eyes peeled for more coming up in the future!
The only one I don't like is new Deathfire Grasp, and that's becaus the new icon is so vastly different from the old, not just in terms of the actual item itself but even in the colours used for it, that I can no longer identify it at a glance. All the other new icons I can give them the briefest of looks and still immediately know what it is (which is important in a game when you need to do your shopping as quickly as possible), but for Deathfire Grasp, I find myself constantly have to search and research the shop to find it because the icon is too drastically different. I'll get used to it eventually, and for new players coming into the game this will never be an issue, but I find the drastic visual change is definitely a huge annoyance that slows down my shopping at the moment.This was one of the icons we were most worried about changing, but the old one had very little to work with. I tried a few variations keeping the pink and grey, and even had several iterations with the skull, but they were all mostly as confusing as the original was (which isn't terribly clear, though I know it's been around a while so it has become hugely familiar). In the end this one provided the clearest read, and we wanted to introduce the more dramatic changes slowly so that the overall transition would be less jarring. We have a few others planned to be reworked to about this level, but the number isn't very high and we hope to slot them in gradually over time. :)"
Agreed. A month is INSANE. I could make more icons than this in a day. Bit more if I had to go through discussions and touch-ups, but definately not a MONTH.
As I said, "The overall work time on these was about a month in between other icon projects," which means we had a lot of things going on simultaneously. Keep in mind we're trying to hit all the new content too, guys. :P
RiotRadioblur , I was wondering , Are you in charge of updating champion's abilities icons?
Because , I had a really big doubt. Why didn't you change the ability icons for some champions when they got a Visual Upgrade? I know you did for Annie , Karma , Master Yi , Katarina. But why not Ashe , Nidalee , Soraka?(just examples)
Soraka , for example , really needs new icons to match her new look and all. Her old ability Icons just look.. really outdated and not really pretty.
I know this doesn't exactly belong to this thread , but I would really appreciate It If you could give me an answer.
I'm doing most of our icons internally right now, but the whole Visual Design department shares a lot of that responsibility so it doesn't really fall to any one of us in particular. I can say that updating relaunched champion ability icons was a movement I started when I got here, which was just before Annie was relaunched. We're looking at ways to get back and update all the old stuff, but there's a lot of new content rolling out all the time that eats up a significant amount of bandwidth. I don't want to promise anything, but I assure you it's not off our radar. :)
That being said, were these Icons worked on by the Vigil hires I read about? The style reminds me so much of the Darksiders art, and for me that's not a bad thing. I was a fan of Vigil long before I became a Riot fan and it makes me happy to see the style live on in another of my favorite games.Actually all of these items were primarily spearheaded by me with some seriously huge assists from all the other departments. There are quite a few Vigil folks around the office, but none of them had much of a hand in this rework pass to my knowledge. That said, we might be seeing some down the road with some of them jumping in for support, just as long as the end result continues to feel distinctly "Riot.""
Announcements not showing up in the Sub-Forum
If you are like me and constantly comb the dev tracker and forums looking for the latest info, you may have noticed that announcements - things like sales, champion rotations, etc - don't show up on the forum anymore. Turns out this is intentional as Riot now allows you to comment directly on the article itself, using a reddit style system.
Here's Xin it to Win it with more information:
As you may have noticed, we’re currently testing a new discussion feature that lets you comment directly on news posts and articles. As a result, announcements will no longer show up as posts in the Announcements sub-forum. However, the sub-forum will remain open for the time being in case you’d like to search through past announcements.While the thread is already filling up with feedback on the change, Xin it to Win it noted:
We’d love to hear what you think about this change and the new discussion feature, so we’re leaving this post unlocked as a way to gather feedback. Feel free to post any thoughts or ideas you have below!"
"This is great feedback and the web development team is watching this thread."
Lyte on Player Behavior
Over in the "Lyte - Player Behavior, Matchmaking, and Life as a Scientist" thread, Lyte has been responding to several summoners questions and ideas on how to fix a few of LoL's nagging issues.
First off, he elaborated on why offering reduced LP loss if your team has a leaver or increasing the LP loss for leavers after they have left a game isn't a perfect solution.
"These are interesting ideas that we've discussed in the past. The problem with reduced LP loss for the team is that it encourages the team to bully or harass someone to leave the game if they believe there's no longer a chance to win. In many ways, a feature like this would encourage some number of neutral players to 'go toxic' in frustrating games and vent on a player, hoping that they would leave.
Increased LP loss for Leavers/AFKs is less of a problem; however, in Ranked Modes, we don't see many intentional leavers or AFKs--most of the leavers in Ranked Modes are likely due to legitimate reasons such as emergencies or outages. Everyone in League of Legends has disconnected at least one game in their career--should we really be punishing these players even harsher?
It might be worthwhile to punish these players harsher if we reduce intentional leavers/AFKs by a certain percentage; but, it's something we'd have to model and calculate out and see if the change is worth it."
He also reiterated that he would like to focus more on positive reinforcement rather than negative reinforcement
"We definitely would like to focus on positive reinforcement of sportsmanlike behavior; after all, if you make it easy for players to be sportsmanlike, they tend to be sportsmanlike.Building off this, he also briefly touched on the Honor system:
However, negative reinforcement hasn't been shown to always be ineffective or detrimental. We've seen success with negative reinforcement in many areas--we just prefer to shift to positive reinforcement instead."
"Depending on which Crest you observe, there's a correlation between Crest holders and games that have 0 reports--that was interesting to us.
Honor needs some work, and we've already done some research into the space and how we want to polish and upgrade the system. However, it's currently being used a healthy amount on all servers and had a very positive effect on player behavior in League (while also allowing us more resolution to analyze player behavior because we only had the 'negative' spectrum with reports before). We'd like to improve the correlation between Crest holders and sportsmanlike personalities, and also implement a few features into Honor to encourage players to aspire and strive for Crests.
To us, positive reinforcement is more of a philosophy that guides our system design. You'll definitely see more systems use concepts of positive reinforcement in the future."
He also had a few comments on smurfing, which can lead to a toxic experience for legitimate low level players:
"Smurfing isn't officially endorsed by Rioters.
It's something we are actively doing research on and trying to address. We agree with some reasons to smurf--such as to make a new account to play with a brand new friend; however, we'd like to make it easier to do that instead of encourage players to smurf."
As for an update on the Champion Select problem, he noted:
"We spent quite a few weeks on research, and have begun pouring our development resources into our Champion Select solution. We're actually having a few meetings over the near future to see what we can share with players.Finally, he also noted there will not be another Player Behavior panel at PAX Prime later this month:
I'm super excited to maybe even talk about some of the research and why it inspired some parts of our solution."
"As far as I know, we won't be having a player behavior panel at PAX Prime this year; however, I know a few Rioters might participate on other panels (with other industry veterans) that might be related to player behavior"
A Legendary Weapon Comes to Life
The badass blacksmiths over at Man at Arms have agreed to bring one of League of Legends most iconic weapons to life!
Here's Romulus with more information:
You've been hounding the master weaponsmiths at Man at Arms for a while now to recreate an iconic weapon from League of Legends. They've heard your requests and asked us to choose which weapon to build. We thought it'd be better to ask you instead, so we're opening up the polls so you can decide which of Valoran's mighty weapons will be forged in our world.
Some of the most realistic and mind-blowing recreations of video game, TV and movie weaponry, including Link's Master Sword, Sora's Keyblade, Cloud's buster sword and even Wolverine's claws, come from these talented craftsmen. You can check out how each weapon is made by watching their popular YouTube series.
Along with the actual weapon, Man at Arms will be producing an episode of their series dedicated to bringing the weapon you choose into reality.
Let us know which weapon you'd like to see crafted by the Man at Arms team in the poll above this post, voting closes this Friday!"
The poll options are Katarina's Daggers, Hecarim's Polearm, Leona's Zenith Blade, and Xin Zhao's Spear. GO VOTE NOW ON NA, HERE ON EUW, or HERE ON EUNE.