Red Post Collection: Context on Shyvana PBE changes and IP/XP reward changes from 3.11, Results of Man at Arms contest, and so much more!

Posted on at 7:55 PM by Moobeat
This evening's red post collection features CertainlyT giving some context to the recent Shyvana PBE nerfs ( spoiler alert - another accident ), Brackhar discussing the changes to IP/XP rewards in custom games, Morello sharing his thoughts on the patch 3.11 Zac nerfs, Lyte chatting about challenges with "fixing" champion select, a note on the intended removal of Kitae's Bloodrazor from Howling Abyss, a blurb about one of Ahri's early concepts, and, finally, a look at which League of Legends weapon the blacksmiths at Man at Arms brought to life!
Continue reading for a smorgasbord of red posts!

CertainlyT on recent Shyvana PBE changes
If you took a look at the 9/9 PBE update post, you may have noticed a few Shyvana nerfs pop up without any sort of context or buffs to compensate.

Here's CertainlyT with some delicious context, revealing these to be something else that incorrectly made their way on to the PBE - simliary to the Garen changes.
"We aren't making imminent changes to Shyvana's Burnout. This datamine was another piece of Season 4 fighter testing bits of which I incorrectly promoted to the PBE (as seen with Garen). The plan was to pair it with some sexy changes to her dragon form. 
FWIW our internal testing on all the changes currently shows the W you saw to be a bit too weak. 
As to our overall view of Shyvana, I think she's balanced but her Dragon Form doeesn't feel sufficienly epic. I want Shyvana to be a bully, but a more moderate one early, in exchange for a lvl 16 dragon form where she becomes a literal raid boss, turning the enemy backline into a pile of charred corpses. Rez and run back."
He continued:
"Testing a bunch of stuff. Nothing has proven perfect just yet. Shyvana will stay damage focused, but I think that she needs a) greater reach and b) a better best cast scenario in post-35 minute team fights."

When pressed for more info on the changes, he spoke a bit about the specific W changes seen in todays update:
"I'm not actually certain the W will see changes. Again, this was just a random daily iteration you got a peek of"

Context on recent changes to IP/XP granted for Custom Games
In response to a few unhappy summoners, Brackhar has posted to give more information and context on why the IP/XP rewards for custom games were changed in patch 3.11.
"Hey All,

I wanted to provide a bit of context for these changes. Before I begin though, let me reiterate the current restriction:
  • IP/XP for Custom Games are no longer rewarded unless there are half as many human players as the map was designed for (5 for SR, CS, and HA; 3 for TT)
  • It's still possible to play custom games any number of players (as long as it's not been restricted for load reasons) 
The reason we did this was, as some of you had suspected, a reaction to players using bots to farm games for IP/XP. While in an ideal world we'd just ban the accounts and move on, the problem wasn't that people were using these bots on their main accounts to accrue ip/xp. Instead they were exploiting the refer a friend program by creating new bot accounts, leveling them up as referrals, and then giving another account the IP/RP rewards (which in turn they'd launder via other means). This made targeted bans not an effective solution, so instead we had to tackle the problem at its source. This wasn't a limited issue either; check out this report showing the distribution of game end times in NA for the month of July: http://imgur.com/wLFwRBq 
Note that we were seeing over 40% of our games end at 6 minutes, and those games were almost completely one player bot games. Those bot accounts would immediately queue up after completing a game and repeat the cycle, which in addition to the rewards issues was also putting a good bit of load on our system. 
It's unfortunate that this change ended up hitting players who were playing legitimate games, but our hope was that the affected player size would be very small and primarily only impact people doing things like testing out new champions. This thread and others have brought some light to a legitimate play pattern that we didn't anticipate would be a main form of engagement, and that'll cause some conversations on our end about what the next step forward here should be. It was our intention to evaluate the success of the changes later this week anyway, so once we have that data we'll be able to make an informed decision on if we can be more lax on the restriction."
He later commented on the success of the Refer-a-friend system, which was cited as one of the reasons for these changes:
"Yeah, RAF needs to be reviewed and possibly reworked, I agree."

Morello on recent Zac nerfs
Morello dropped off a few comments on the nerfs that hit Zac in 3.11, noting the upcoming world finals as a reason why they were a bit light.
"These nerfs are conservative as to not obliterate Zac in what will be the final patch for World Finals. We did want to nerf his power, not overdo it and remove a big staple in a number of team lineups (instead, we want to allow more variety in options).

We likely could have gone a little harder on Zac nerfs, but for the worlds patch, we didn't want to risk of overdoing it. If, after worlds, Zac's still pushing out other options, then we'll hit him again."

Lyte on Champion Select problems and other player behavior systems
 It's been a while since we've heard anything new out of the player behavior team and what their plans for addressing the toxicity of champion select might be, Lyte did comment today noting their continued work and some of the philosphies that pour into it and the other player behavior systems:
"We're currently working on a new solution for Champion Select problems, but are doing research on Honor and where we want to take it in the future. We agree that usage has gone down, although there's still a very healthy amount of Honors handed out in Normal Blind Pick, Co-op vs Bots and Howling Abyss; however, there's less Honor being handed out in Ranked Teams and Ranked (partially because premade teams don't often give each other Honor). We're not ready to talk about the future of Honor yet, but we'll start once we finish working on Champion Select. 
I don't agree that discussing the origin of toxic behavior is an excuse. I agree that damage has been done whether a player is having a bad day or whether they are consistently toxic; however, understanding the origin of the toxic behavior allows us to better address the behavior. For example, does a player who is the most awesome, positive player in the community for 9999 games and happens to have 1 bad game, should they be permabanned? This is an extreme example, but illustrates why understanding the origin of the toxic behavior can help us address it in an appropriate way. 
We have considered different types of 'punishments' for players such as limiting queues or limiting IP, but right now we're focusing on Champion Select. We've also taken a pretty drastic shift in our approach to player behavior over the last year, and we'd prefer rewards and incentives rather than punishments. As an example, let's say we had a game where players could share cookies, or be selfish and eat all the cookies themselves. We'd prefer players to share cookies, but instead of punishing players for being selfish and eating all the cookies, we could reward players with an additional half cookie if they shared the cookie with others. We truly believe that if you make it easy for players to be good and do the right thing, they do.

We're not resistant to simply implementing solutions, especially with Leaver/AFK. There's just a lot of data and experience from other games that solutions like a Vote-Kick are extremely abused and often considered grave mistakes when the studios tried them. I generally prefer to go with the data, and not make the same mistakes over and over again ;)"
He continued, talking more about the Champion Select plans and briefly noting on the communities desire to know how effective their reports have been:
"We're working hard on Champion Select because of the exact issues you are mentioning. There's several factors about Champion Select that are less than ideal right now, including having players in the same game who have different expectations (play to win versus play for fun). You also have time pressure making the Champion Select situation quite hostile as players try to discuss team strategy while a looming count-down timer is ticking. We can't wait to talk to players about our plans for Champion Select; to be honest, the entire player behavior team is excited because they want to use it and play with it in game.

We've known for a long time now that we want to notify players about the effectiveness of their reports (and to thank players for using the report system correctly to improve the community); however, it's just an issue of pragmatism for us. It's a feature we'd love to do one day, but it doesn't surpass the priority of something like Champion Select."

Kitae's Bloodrazor removed from Howling Abyss
As you may have noticed, Kitae's Bloodrazor was removed from Howling Abyss in patch 3.11.

Here's ManWolfAxeBoss with more information:
"Hey guys, this is intentional. Apologies for not making it into the patch notes.

Although the item does fill a unique niche, it's not doing it as well as we'd like (especially when compared to BotRK). So it's gone for now, but don't panic as there are plans to make a version of it that better serves the original purpose. Soon(tm)"

Ahri's Early Design included a "fox mask"
Responding to a summoner pointing out that there aren't near as many female champions with "animal faces" ( think Rengar , Renekton, Nasus, etc ), Brackhar revealed a cool tidbit about Ahri's early concept:
"One of the early concepts for Ahri I was pitching had her with a fox face, but she hid it behind a fox mask (kinda like this image: http://imgur.com/mp5wWXP). We ended up moving away from that because we thought showing a human face would make her more relatable, but I still like the idea of having a more animalistic female champion as well."

Real Life Leona's Zenith Blade
According to the communities vote, the blacksmiths over at Man at Arms have forged a REAL LIFE version of Leona's Zenith blade!

Check out this video for an overview of the creation process and a guest appearance by a certain feathery fellow.

"You voted for Leona's Zenith Blade and Man at Arms delivered: master blacksmith Tony Swatton and his crew of craftsmen at Sword and Stone have forged a truly stunning blade worthy of the Solari!"
IronStylus commented on how sharp the actual blade was, saying:
"Indeed it was. I was warned many times that it was razor sharp and shouldn't dare touch the blade itself. Also, the spikes coming from the circle were deadly.

Tony was telling me that this was the most complicated design they ever made. It was also extremely dangerous due to all the points! I apologized profusely for being a pain in the ass for designing it with a giant hold in the middle of it."
He also shared some bonus pictures!
"Here, some additional fun stuff!

Some shots of the sword:"
"Leona herself commenting on minimalist armor."
"The sword being held by some weirdo. It was about 12 lbs but with that much length it was still pretty darn heavy."

When questioned about the Leona from the picture above, he pointed out she's none other than the lovely Missyeru!
"Nope! That's Missyeru, an awesome League cosplayer!
https://www.facebook.com/MissyeruCosplay"

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